Andrew Smyth (Southern Connecticut State University)
The field of Critical Animal Studies continues to broaden and deepen as scholars, students, and activists critique the socially constructed divisions among human and nonhuman animals and explore cultural representations of interdependency, cohabitation, coevolution, and coexistence. Writers such as Akira Mizuta Lippit (2002) look for ways to resist the anthropomorphization that characterizes human representation of other animals. Lippit’s coinage of “animetaphor” (129) offers a means to highlight our fleshly connection with other animals, merging language and material being to break down the binary between speaking and non-speaking animals.
Our roundtable invites scholars working across disciplines to look anew at canonical and emerging texts—primary and theoretical—that picture the animal in words, image, and page. Our shared premise is that comics and graphic novels provide an ideal venue for extending the examination of language, representation, and animals that Critical Animal Studies invokes.
This roundtable explores the intersection of Critical Animal Studies with comics and graphic novels, which provide an ideal venue for a detailed examination of language, representation, and animals, particularly how to disrupt language-based hierarchies and contest persistent forms of human domination. We invite scholars across the disciplines to look anew at canonical and emerging texts—primary and theoretical—that picture the animal in words, image, and page.