Category Archives: Introduction
We’re excited to introduce readers, faithful and newly added, to the testing site of the updated Performing Humanity.
In the coming months, we will be assessing the new site as an alternative to this platform. We’ll be sharing reviews on summer films in the field, as well as articles on museums and art exhibits. As new content rolls in, we invite you to share feedback and suggestions so we can shape a site that showcases your work, and fits your needs and interests.
By the new year, we’ll have finalized the decisions and will be hosting collaborations with scholars, authors, and artists (including History Carnival in January 2015). We hope that you’ll join us by continuing to share your own ideas and contributions.
Have favorite articles from PH? Never fear! Our old site and its archives will remain available to you. We will also continue hosting our “Emerging Voices” series, which is also viewable through the RSS feed at the bottom of the new site, until it concludes in early November. You don’t need to miss a thing.
Thank you for reading!
Have you ever wondered how scholars of literature locate questions of humanness in texts? This month, Performing Humanity will feature the work of one such scholar — and we invite you, the readers, to chime in with your thoughts.
What links exist between scholarship and activism?
How do novels depict historical or theoretical moments that blur lines of humanness?
What other pieces of literature or art can help us to continue this consideration?
For those over-achievers who want to read ahead, the editor recommends Joseph Conrad’s Heart of Darkness.
We look forward to sharing more on April 15!
“The day may come,when the rest of the animal creation may acquire those rights which never could have been withholden from them but by the hand of tyranny.” – Jeremy Bentham (1)
The dawn of 2014 marks 225 years since Bentham drew attention toward the divisions among how Eastern and Western cultures viewed the ethical status of non-human animals, and since he infamously claimed that the question of a being’s status ” is not, Can they reason? nor, Can they talk? but, Can they suffer?” (1). This year also marks 39 years since Animal Liberation entered the philosophical and activist consciousness, due to Peter Singer’s seminal work of that title.
Here at Performing Humanity, we work to raise questions about ethical and social status of humans, non-humans, and the Othered categories that further blur those lines. To that end, we’ve compiled a brief (and by no means comprehensive) collection of how and where we located new areas of inquiry that bridge 2013 and the year ahead. As always, our editor invites comments and submissions that further develop these dialogues.
* Shows such as The Walking Dead and True Blood continued in popularity, raising questions about the roles that mortality, reason, sentience, and physical appearance play in defining humans and humanness.
* In the popular music world, the difference among men and women — and the genders they perform — caused debate, bringing the work of Robin Thicke and the concept of “Blurred Lines” to the forefront of daily life. (For more on this issue in PH, see our past posting).
* In New York, a landmark case brought forward by the Nonhuman Rights Project called for the release of Tommy, a captive chimp. Filing a writ of habeas corpus, the group demanded that Tommy’s captivity was a violation of his rights.
* A series of undercover investigations led by the group Mercy for Animals exposed widespread abuses in dairy farms and pork facilities, leading to large scale media coverage and changes in how corporations such as Tyson Foods handle nonhuman livestock.
These issues and more have shaped our transition into the new year. At PH, we invite you to develop our conversations, knowledge, and questioning about them.
(1) Jeremy Bentham, The Principles of Morals and Legislation, Chapter XVII, Section 1 (1789).
Be on the lookout, PH readers! Exciting new content is approaching in July. It is our privilege to share a conversation between our editor, Miranda Nesler, and renowned anthropologist and author Barbara King. Tune in next month for their dialogue about sentience and grief in the lives of human and non human animals.
In the mean time, follow @PerformHumanity on Twitter for updates and insights related to the blog.
The Graduate Student Advisory Board of BSU proudly presents Practical Criticism Midwest on Friday, February 8, 2013!
Be a part of the Department of English’s great tradition.
Come support your colleagues as they present their research in creative writing, linguistics, literature, and composition & rhetoric. Hear our keynote speaker, Dr. Vicki Anderson, and stay for the delicious wine and sassy doggerel contest with three guest judges who will not disappoint. PCM is located at the gorgeous Virginia Ball Center. This event gives you the chance to attend a first-rate conference, and then have a fireside chat with faculty and friends.
For more info and a schedule of events, visit the PCM website http://pcm2013.blogspot.com/p/pcm-conference-scedule.html