Using only the three references from 1-3 answer the following questions:
1. to what extent are your beliefs or understanding of life underpinned by western systems of meaning, give examples,
2. How do Suchet’s ideas challenge your understanding of life, give examples?
3. Why do you think the above matters for animal-human relations?
Need in 12 hours
INDS207: Indigeneity in the Contemporary World
MODULE TWO: “OBJECTS OF FASCINATION AND FEAR”
§ What do we mean by “representation”? § What are “regimes of representation”? Why are they significant? § What are “paradigms”? § What key paradigms have shaped our representation of Indigenous people?
2. The Concept of “Essentialism”
§ What is “essentialism”? § Why do you think colonial discourses relied and perpetuated essentialisms? § What are some of the “essentialist” ideas that have, and continue, how Indigenous
people are depicted?
§ What are stereotypes and why are they significant? § Is there are difference between “typing” and “stereotyping”? § How is the stereotyping of Indigenous people “essentializing”; “reductionist” and
4. Edward Said and “Orientalism”
§ What is the central theme that underpins Edwards Said’s Orientalism? § What is “Orientalism”? § What does Said say about the nature of Western representations of the non
§ What are some of the underlying assumptions of Orientalist discourse?
Good news: Humans are neither distinct nor superior
Commentary on Chapman & Huffman on Human Difference
Honorary Research Scholar University of Winchester
Abstract: Chapman & Huffman suggest that to correct our thinking about the supposed superiority of humans over other animals, we must train our reasoned investigation upon ourselves. Their thesis may usefully be viewed from within the general findings of the cognitive revolution in science, particularly findings that speak to the limits of rationality in everyday thought of humans. That we have failed — throughout a long history of scientific and philosophical thought — to ask fundamental questions about animal cognition and emotion is rooted in the fact that much of our thinking, feeling, and behaving is beyond our own immediate grasp. Scientific investigation has demonstrated that other animals are not so programmed as we assumed across a great range of behaviors. These two sets of findings should indeed change our thoughts about other animals.
Anne Benvenuti is the author of Spirit
Unleashed: Reimagining Human-Animal
Relations, nominated for the Pulitzer Prize in 2015. She continues to focus her interdisciplinary scholarship on human animal relations, with particular interest in scientific explication of the qualitative dimension of experience. Website
I fully concur with Chapman & Huffman (C & H) that to correct millennia of incorrect thinking, we must train our human power to reason and conduct our scientific investigations on our own minds. The title of their essay obliquely but accurately reflects the mistaken assumption that underlies virtually the entire past history of human thought, including scientific thought, about human-animal relations. Aristotle (350 BCE), for instance, implied that animals did not think and thus operated at a lower level of existence, without memory or forethought. Drawing upon what was by then a pervasive and entrenched meme of human distinction and superiority, Descartes (1641) declared animals to be mere machines in a mechanistic universe wherein cause and effect played out endlessly without purpose.
I add that we are both more innocent and more ignorant than C & H suggest because our rationality is less rational than we assume, and because our thinking is influenced by many forms of self-serving bias (Shepherd, 2008; Tavris, 2008; Taylor, 1989). C & H’s thesis must be placed within the context of the enormity of unconscious or implicit content and process in human reasoning (Damasio, 1999; Wilson, 2002; Cacioppo, 2009; Schore, 2009; Panksepp, 2012; Benvenuti, 2016). The problem is not only that we want to justify mistreatment of other animals, but that so much of our own thinking, feeling, and behaving is beyond our own immediate grasp. Given the relative inaccessibility of our own minds, changing deeply held constructs of culture is challenging, though possible (Wexler, 2006).
Virtually all animal behavior, including human behavior, is
ISSN: 0004-9182 (Print) 1465-3311 (Online) Journal homepage: https://www.tandfonline.com/loi/cage20
‘Totally Wild’? Colonising discourses, indigenous knowledges and managing wildlife
To cite this article: Sandie Suchet (2002) ‘Totally Wild’? Colonising discourses, indigenous knowledges and managing wildlife, Australian Geographer, 33:2, 141-157, DOI: 10.1080/00049180220150972
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/00049180220150972
Published online: 27 May 2010.
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Australian Geographer, Vol. 33, No. 2, pp. 141–157, 2002
indigenous ‘Totally Wild’? knowledges1 Colonising and discourses, managing wildlife
SANDIE SUCHET, Macquarie University, Australia
ABSTRACT This paper offers a critique of politically dominant Eurocentric notions of culture and nature in Australia. In particular, it interrogates Eurocentric concepts of animals, wildlife and management, and seeks to unsettle these concepts by considering some of the diverse ways in which indigenous people in Australia know country, animals and wilderness. Using the metaphor of Eurocentric ontology in a hall of mirrors, the paper argues that Eurocentric claims of universalism for naturalised discourses that assume the adequacy of a nature–culture binary form a very fragile circular argument. Self-justifying the imposition and assertion of Eurocen tric concepts and practices is a mechanistic re� ection of the particular terms of reference set by Eurocentric knowledges and a denial of multiple ways of knowing. The dangers this presents are illustrated by examining how concepts and practices underlying wildlife management have self-justiŽ ed (continuing) colonising processes in Australia. Finally, the paper attempts to open up spaces that address these dangers. Situated engagement is introduced as an approach which could shatter the hall of mirrors—by clearly embodying and emplacing all thought and action, universalised boundaries can be recognised and breached and new possibilities imagined and realised.
Indigenous knowledges; wildlife management; nature; wilderness; postcolonial ism; situated engagement.
Each weekday TOTALLY WILD takes viewers on a stimulating adventure into the wilds of Australia’s � ora and fauna … (Totally Wild 2001)
Promotions and content of the popular children’s television program Totally Wild posit a clear difference between the wild and the everyday world of its viewers. As part of the popular media’s presentation of nature, Totally Wild re� ects and reinforces a particular view of a boundary between nature and culture. Unquestioning acceptance of the existence of ‘the wilds’ and their distinct separateness from our lives, and the accept ance of an external rel
E G A S
. 9 9 9 1
© t h g i r y p o C
3 FROM MODERNITY TO POSTMODERNITY
Chapter 2 examined the historical transformations in human–animal relations which resulted in the establishment of many attitudes and values that are familiar to people today. Four key themes were already well formed by the beginning of the twentieth century: the sentimentalization of animals; the role of the modern state in regulating appropriate, civilized behaviour to animals (the anti-cruelty laws, for example); the demand for animal rights; and the growing significance of animals in human leisure. While these attitudes persisted into the twentieth century, much more has occurred in the field of human–animal relations. The twentieth century has transformed the nature of sentiments towards animals, added considerably more legal and institutionalized apparatus concerned with animal welfare, advanced the idea of animal rights to a mainstream debate and decentred the form in which humans engage with animals in leisure. In addition, the twentieth century has substantially changed the economic, political and cultural face of human associations with animals. This chapter will establish the pattern of such changes and suggest a framework for their understanding. In turn this will provide a more systematic guide for the analysis of particular sites of human–animal relations, five of which form the subject for the remaining chapters.
The most appropriate general framework for understanding twentieth-century changes in human–animal relations is a specifically adapted version of familiar theorizations of modernity and postmodernity. The work of Beck (1992), Giddens (1990, 1991), Harvey (1989), Lash and Urry (1987, 1994), Rojek (1995) and Urry (1996) will be drawn on. Although these theorists provide general accounts of social change in the twentieth century, saying almost nothing about human–animal relations, their work is still useful because it is to be expected that our relationships with animals are closely tied to historically specific social and cultural conditions. As we will see, it is possible to account for the new ways in which humans have related to animals in the twentieth century, and their growing significance in our lives, through an analysis of key economic and cultural changes.
The chapter is organized into three sections. The first outlines the main economic and cultural composition of the first half of the twentieth century. The economic manifestations of this period are often referred to as Fordism, but since Fordism and modernity are such closely linked ideas, our discussion will be made under the heading of ‘Modernity, Fordism and Animals’. The second section considers the later period of the twentieth century, after which the modernizing project and Fordism began to break down, but not disappear completely – hence the rather tentative terms, ‘postmodernity’ and ‘post-Fordism’. There is no sudden switch from one to another and so no date can describe the
INDS207 Indigeneity in the Contemporary World
Associate Professor Evan Poata-Smith
What do you have to do? What are the key themes? INDS207 Weekly readings. My contact details. Week One On-line resources. Welcome to INDS207
INDS207 involves a focus on:
Indigenous people and everyday life.
We will be looking at:
How Indigenous people in both the Australian and international contexts have been studied and represented.
How Indigenous people collaborate with others to create symbolic ‘worlds’ that can provide a sense of identity and belonging.
How cultural objects and technologies may be inscribed with new meanings and reworked by Indigenous people in ways that incorporate local knowledges and sensibilities.
How Indigenous people may ‘perform’ their Indigeneity; how, and in what ways, they may symbolize their Indigenous ‘selves’ to others.
How Indigenous people may confirm, challenge or disrupt some of the common expectations about what constitutes “authentic” Indigenous
Over-arching objective for the course:
To develop critical perspectives on Indigenous people, their everyday activities and experiences, and the way their lives are represented.
Interrogating popular ‘common sense’ understandings about Indigenous people and the world around them.
Reading against the grain of supposedly self-evident truths –rather than simply taking them for granted.
Questioning what may appear to be “obvious”, “common sense”, or “natural”.
Over-emphasis on Indigenous people as a “problem”; e.g. there is a focus on substance abuse, violence, ‘delinquency’, criminal offending etc.
Much of the research lacks specificity:
§ It tends to assume homogeneity among Indigenous people. § It tends to disregard the everyday experiences of significant sections of
Indigenous populations. In Australia, for example, there is an over emphasis on the experiences of Indigenous people living in rural and remote communities.
§ It tends to treat Indigenous cultures as if they are sealed off or are living
in “splendid isolation” from the rest of the world; that Indigenous people only share cultural experiences with other Indigenous people.
§ It is often underpinned by ‘primitivist’ assumptions about the way
Indigenous people engage with new technologies and what constitutes authentic forms of cultural expression.
INDS207 Why is this issue? Week One
Indigeneity is often associated with primitivist notions of ‘cultural purity’ that lock Indigenous peoples in the past.
§ Indigeneity is strongly associated with notions of idealized
simplicity and ecological belonging (i.e. an intrinsic part of the landscape, intimately linked to the ecology of the country like trees and rivers and animals).
§ Indigenous peoples are expected to maintain ‘authentic’ identities
and express those identities in those ‘traditional ways’ while settlers and their descendants remain largely untroubled by this.
§ We will examine where these ideologies come
Frozen in the Past
Preserving the ‘Pristine’ & ‘Pure’ Indigenous ‘Other’
INDS207 Module Three Key Theme
Indigeneity is often associated with primitivist notions of
‘tradition’ & ‘cultural purity’ that lock Indigenous peoples in the past.
If Indigenous peoples don’t express their Indigeneity in these easily recognisable ways they are all too often treated as being ‘inauthentic’ or fake.
Why is this issue?
Key point: failure to express one’s indigeneity in ways that correspond with the settler imagination has significant implications.
§ “Staged authenticity”: conformity by indigenous people to the
expected images of tourists.
§ MacCannell, Dean (1973), “Staged authenticity: Arrangement of social space in tourist
settings”, American Journal of Sociology, 79(3): 589-603.
§ Conforming to western stereotypes represents a double-edged
sword for indigenous communities.
§ Sissons, Jeffrey (2005), First Peoples: Indigenous Cultures and their Futures, London:
Reaktion Books, pp. 37-59.
INDS207 Why is this issue? Module Three 3
The requirement of cultural authenticity commonly
excludes from official recognition those Indigenous people who, due to colonial processes, have difficulty attaching to pre-European ‘tribal’ forms.
§ Colonialism often involves the severing of indigenous kinship relationships through policies of removal, relocation and assimilation.
§ The Treaty of Waitangi settlement process in Aotearoa/New
§ Indigenous people living in urban centres in Australia.
Where do these ideologies come from and how they can be employed in ways that may enable and/or constrain Indigenous agency?
Where do such ideas come from:
Primitivism & the legacy of “salvage” anthropology.
Ideologies of cultural purity and authenticity.
Pseudo-scientific ideas about race and evolution.
The Noble Savage and ecological indigeneity.
New Age philosophies and spiritualism.
Preserving the ‘pristine’ and ‘pure’ Indigenous “Other”
This ‘primitivist’ view of indigeneity has been reinforced by a number of scholarly disciplines.
For example, it is one of the defining characteristics of Australian anthropology:
§ It viewed Aboriginal people in the south-east as
inauthentic, as people who did not live as “Aborigines”, as people who had lost their “Aboriginal” culture and had only a fragmented memory of their (past) culture.
Anthropology and indigenous peoples
A total discursive practice that encodes and reproduces the hegemonic process of colonial settlement.
§ A discipline primarily “…fitted to the needs of those who have
the task of administering to native peoples.”
§ Alfred Radcliffe-Brown cited by Geoffrey Gray (2007), A Cautious Silence: The
Politics of Australian Anthropology, Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press, p. 5.
Objective: “Knowing the native”
§ Anthropological and colonial discourse focused on
understanding the “mentality” of the indigenous people: i.e. the abilities and capacities of “natives” to think—and to act
Star-nosed mole (Condylura cristata). Photo courtesy of Kenneth Catania.
INTRODUCTION TO BEING
THE WESTERN TRADITION
• ‘OUR WORLDVIEW PROVIDES US WITH AN ORDERED SENSE OF REALITY. OUR
WORLDVIEW ENABLES US TO MAKE SENSE OF WHAT WE DO AND WHAT WE
OBSERVE IN THE WORLD AND PROVIDES US WITH A SENSE OF CERTAINTY AND, TO
SOME DEGREE AT LEAST, PREDICTABILITY. IT GIVES US SECURITY BECAUSE IT
ENABLES US TO INTERPRET WHAT HAPPENS IN THE WORLD IN TERMS OF A
MENTAL FRAMEWORK THAT MAKES SENSE TO US.’
AN EXCERPT FROM AMBELIN KWAYMULLINA ON COUNTRY
• ‘FOR ABORIGINAL PEOPLES, COUNTRY IS MUCH MORE THAN A PLACE. ROCK, TREE, RIVER, HILL, ANIMAL,
HUMAN – ALL WERE FORMED OF THE SAME SUBSTANCE BY THE ANCESTORS WHO CONTINUE TO LIVE IN
LAND, WATER, SKY. COUNTRY IS FILLED WITH RELATIONS SPEAKING LANGUAGE AND FOLLOWING LAW,
NO MATTER WHETHER THE SHAPE OF THAT RELATION IS HUMAN, ROCK, CROW, WATTLE. COUNTRY IS
LOVED, NEEDED, AND CARED FOR, AND COUNTRY LOVES, NEEDS, AND CARES FOR HER PEOPLES IN
TURN. COUNTRY IS FAMILY, CULTURE, IDENTITY. COUNTRY IS SELF.
AN EXCERPT FROM AMBELIN KWAYMULLINA ON
COUNTRY PART TWO
• BUT THIS WAS NOT THE COUNTRY THE INVADERS SAW. THEY HAD LEFT THEIR MOTHER COUNTRY FAR
BEHIND, AND SOUGHT NO NEW MOTHER HERE. THEY CAME TO TAME, CONQUER, SUBDUE; NOT TO BE
NURTURED, TAUGHT, CARED FOR. TO THEM THE CONTINENT WAS HARSH, STRANGE; EMPTY OF MEANING
EXCEPT WHAT THEY THEMSELVES BROUGHT TO IT; A PLACE OF WHICH THEY WERE OFTEN AFRAID.
THESE INVADERS – THESE STRANGERS TO COUNTRY – COULD NO LONGER FEEL THEIR MOTHER’S
HEART AS IT BEAT BENEATH THE GREEN LANDS OF THEIR HOME. THEY TRIED TO UNDERSTAND THE
WORLD BY BREAKING IT APART. WITHOUT THEIR MOTHER TO GUIDE THEM, THEY COULD NOT SEE HOW
THE PARTS FIT TOGETHER TO MAKE THE WHOLE, OR THAT THE WHOLE WAS MORE THAN THE PARTS.
THEIR SCIENCE TOLD THEM THAT HUMAN REASON COULD MAKE SMALL AND KNOWN A VAST AND
MYSTERIOUS UNIVERSE; THEIR RELIGION SAID THAT OF ALL THE LIFE THERE WAS, ONLY THEY HAD BEEN
MADE IN THEIR CREATOR’S IMAGE.’
AN EXCERPT FROM AMBELIN KWAYMULLINA ON
COUNTRY PART THREE
• HAVING CALLED THE LONG YEARS OF TURNING AWAY FROM THEIR MOTHER ‘PROGRESS’, THE
STRANGERS NAMED ‘PRIMITIVE’ ALL PEOPLES CLOSER TO THE EARTH THAN THEY WERE. THOSE WHO
ARE NOT AS WE ARE, THEY SAID, ARE LESS THAN WE ARE. THOSE WHO DO NOT LEARN AS WE LEARN,
LEARN IN WAYS INFERIOR TO OURS; THOSE WHO DO NOT USE LAND AS WE DO MAKE A LESS
MEANINGFUL USE THAN OUR OWN. THE STRANGERS SPOKE THIS SO OFTEN THAT EVENTUALLY THEY DID
NOT NEED TO SPEAK IT AT ALL. IT BECAME AN ASSUMPTION,
Living with animals
being in relation
Rather, every organism – like every person – should be understood as the embodiment of a
particular way of being alive, of a modus vivendi. Life, if you will, is the creative potential of a
dynamic field of relationships in which specific beings emerge and take the forms they do, each
in relation to the others. In that sense, life is not so much in organisms as organisms in life
(Ingold 1990: 215; 2002: 57).
TIM INGOLD (2004) Beyond biology and culture. The meaning of evolution in a relational world,
Social Anthropology, 12(2)
To encounter is to trouble classification. Speciated reason, its categorizations of bodies, has long
proceeded through burdened conflations with race. Taxonomies treat taxa as existents, ‘out
there,’ to be found, compared, differentiated, grouped independent of the contexts in which
they are encountered. Western taxonomies relegate other knowledges and ways of
understanding. Classification here is arborescent. Species databases and genomic sequences are
modern avatars of trees of life. But “it would be a mistake to assume much about species in
advance of encounter.” Encounters point to taxa being occurrents, inseparable from the
heterogeneous bodies, technologies and practices through which they are articulated.
Multiple modes of knowledge are fused in classificatory schemes, evident when plicated
histories of encounters between colonizer and colonized are unraveled. Encounters scramble
genealogical trees: introgression and horizontal gene transfer happen across phyla and scales.
They herald involutions, organismic filiations based on contagion and symbiosis.
Environmental Humanities, vol. 7, 2015, pp. 265-270 Maan Barua, Encounters
The Interrelationship between
animals and humans: premises
Truth or belief?
Questions on how we human
animals see other animals
Why is it ok for us to eat pigs and not dogs when both feel pain, suckle their young, are intelligent (the pig
more so than the dog) and when both want to live?
Why do humans drink the breast milk of another species that in doing so causes terrible suffering for that
Why do we see the category ‘animal’ as inferior to the category ‘human’ and why are some animals more
inferior than others (to us)?
Why do we love our ‘pets’ so much that we puts clothes on them for decoration and our amusement?
Why are there so few, if any, wild animals left?
Why can an animal from the Artic be seen on the Gold Coast in a tiny jail?
In sum, how have we come to be positioned in and chosen and choose to see animals in certain ways, for
example as, property, source of food and beverages, to be shot for fun, looked at for entertainment and so
on. In short to configure human animals to be better than and in charge of non-human animals?
Because we can
Because we do not know enough
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