American Genocide: Indians & Other Animals
(Call for Essays and Poetry)
Deadline: 15 December 2018
Critical scholarship on the indigenous humans of North America and scholarship in Critical Animal Studies often remain separate and rarely appear in dialogue with one another. And yet, both fields of study can benefit greatly from being placed in conversation. There has not been a volume to date that adequately grapples with the similar exploitation and extinction of these two marginalized “Others.” The crucial intersection of the human indigenous and other non-human species entails both trope and reality, as both a longtime ideological comedy of errors and misprisions — and a longtime material tragedy of genocide and extinction. To be sure, this “bestial” conjunction may be said to be a foundational matrix of Western civilization. American Genocide puts these voices of genocide and extinction in conversation with one another, including new critical scholarship as well as newly published poetry. The bringing together of ingenious and non-human, however, is not meant to conflate these two unique populations, which is the all-too-often move in ideologies of oppression. Instead, by combining these topics and genres — human and non-human, scholarly study and poetry — this book attempts to speak back against such colonialist models of hierarchy and separation. The collection also introduces a new transdisciplinary approach, Eco-Colonial Discourse theory, an approach towards discourses across species. Furthermore, it is through uncovering the ways in which non-human exploitation serves as the originary template for the de-humanization of disempowered human groups that American Genocide begins of a hybrid field of study that extends and complicates Native American Studies, postcolonial theory, and Critical Animal Studies.
As we are theorizing it, Eco-Colonial Discourse theory is intended to be a descendant of postcolonial theory; however, this new approach recontextualizes, or repositions, questions of imperialism and power with special attention to the intersections between the Native American and nonhuman animal. As colonial discourse theory itself issues from Edward Said’s seminal perception that the Foucaultian matrix of language and power is central to the success of the colonial enterprise, “race” itself has ultimately always been the invention of colonial discourse-as-power — as a rationalization at last for the cruel exercise of that power. And so “the plight of the Redman” has been largely about language, about discourse, in a thoroughly poststructuralist sense. Similarly, the categorical distinction of “animal” in western discourse (as Jacques Derrida has also claimed) remains an issue of power informed by language. In this way, American Genocide seeks ways to identify and move beyond eurocentrism as well as anthropocentrism.
We invite original essays from a wide range of disciplinary fields such as (but not limited to) literary criticism, ethnic studies, gender studies, history, art history, and philosophy that illuminate intersections between the Native American and nonhuman animal.
Suggested intersections include but are not limited to the following:
- Nonhuman and Native extinction/genocide
- Critical Animals Studies and Native American Studies
- Native American Studies and other animals
- Human Natives and other species in the wake of 19th-century Manifest Destiny
- Linguistic/categorical distinctions and hierarchies regarding the indigenous and nonhuman
- Interspecies and intercultural/intertribal communication
- Rhetoric of the Native and nonhuman animal “Others”
- Ontology, race, and species meet U.S. settler colonialism
- Native and nonhuman animal resistance and rebellion
- Representing the Native and nonhuman animal in popular culture
- Preserves/reserves/reservations and colonial/imperial projects
- Documenting and cataloging the “Wild” and/or the “Savage”
- Zoology and Anthropology: Natural and social sciences on the U.S. frontier
- Native ethnobotany and the natural world
- Taxonomic systems and catalogues of imperialism
- Cartography, Native Americans, and nonhuman animals
- Native and nonhuman migration(s)
- Native American “myth,” spiritualism and nonhuman animals
Submit your 300-500 word abstract to firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com by 15 Dec 2018 with the subject line “American Genocide Abstract.” Please also include C.V. Notification of acceptance will be sent by 15 Jan 2019. Completed essays (5,000—9,000 words) will be expected by 15 May 2019 in MLA or Chicago Manual of Style format.
We also invite submissions of previously unpublished poetry that bridge, intersect, or complicate the indigenous human and nonhuman animal.