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Telegrams: Podcasting Political Animals

Lynn Turner (Goldsmiths, University of London)

What sense would it make to bring questions of voice into relation with animal studies? The most evident alignment would ask after the politics of representation in the sense of speaking for those who do not ‘have a voice’ in the context of animal advocacy. This is not the frontal question I will pursue here. Rather, I will critically engage post-Lacanian psychoanalysis as the frame that recruits voice as well as speech as the terrain of the human insofar as it speaks to a specific relation to trauma. The entanglement between voice, trauma and the political is thus my focus. Contemporary investigation of cetacean communication provides the case through which to dispatch the human exceptionalism that they would otherwise endorse.

Event details

Dr Lynn Turner is Senior Lecturer in Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths, University of London. Her work explores how animal and sexual differences matter in visual and aural culture, literature, and philosophy. She is also Co-Director of the upcoming 5th Derrida Today Conference, taking place at Goldsmiths, 8th–11th June, 2016.

The 2015/16 Art History and Visual Culture research seminar series, chaired by João Florêncio under the theme of “Ecopoetics,” brings together speakers from a wide variety of disciplines – from art history and visual culture to theatre and performance, geography, law, and sociology – to explore the ways in which the realm of the visual intersects with ecological debates, thus reflecting on what it might mean to build an oikos, a home or dwelling place, predicated on more ethical modes of engagement and cohabitation with the human and nonhuman other.


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