Sep 5, 2009

September 1, 1939

On September 1st, which was last Tuesday, I was watching Katyń by Andrzej Wajda and I realized during it that that Tuesday marked the 70th anniversary of the invasion of Poland, and of the Second World War. I was really intrigued that no one had mentioned anything during that day (but not so much, since I hadn't turned on the TV or opened up a newspaper). I had to check afterwards to see if it had been really September 1st, but yes, it had. Because I came of age in the 90s, I got used to the idea that WWII had happened 50 years ago, because my mind always made the math based on 1945. But realizing that such event happened exactly 70 years ago kind of disturbed me. Seventy years felt like a long time ago, and I felt a pang of fear that it might some day be forgotten.

Sep 4, 2009

Animality, animals and racial Otherness

Renee, posting in two feminist blogs (Feministe and Womanist Musings), authored a comment on the connections between animal rights groups and the political fight of people of color that has sparked relative polemic in philosophy and Animal Studies blogs. She says she feel uncomfortable with animal rights groups' (such as PETA) discourse on the seemingly unquestionable fact that human, as animals, are the same as the latter. Quoting her:
Much of the time, they buttress their position by saying that we are no different than animals and therefore are undeserving of special treatment.   This line of thought does not solely apply to PeTA.  Many animal rights groups are fond of pointing out that humans are also animals.  This is a biological fact, however; using it to defend your position can be extremely problematic and it is rarely to ever acknowledged as such.

Sep 1, 2009

What's in a name? or Post- vs. Trans-

Within the larger field of the (post-)humanities, the terms 'posthumanism' and 'posthuman' have been difficult to determine. A quick Google search on any of these words will list many websites which don't seem to tackle the topics which are in discussion here, such as animality and the limits and limitations of what has been called 'humanity'. Many people seem to consider the prefixes 'post' and 'trans' as interchangeable, and therefore use 'posthumanism' and 'transhumanism' as synonyms, when, in fact, they must be conceptualized as two very distinct lines of thought.