Professor Allen Feldman is Anorak’s Plain Speaker of the Year
The violence that is poised between humanitas and inhumanitas speaks to the metaphysical ordering and phantasms of everyday political terror. Are practices of political aggression separable from the Western metaphysical divide between human and animal, and what are the ideological utilities of this divide? Are acts and discourses of inhumanization how philosophical anthropology (and all anthropologies are ultimately philosophical and political) confesses itself, not as theorem or disciplinary taxonomy, but as a political culture with the most severe material criteria and bodily consequences? Does political animality point to an anthropological sovereignty that only acquires positivity, tangibility, and figuration through its displacement onto, and passage into, the extimacy that is animality? And why does subjugated or expelled animality perennially threaten anthropological plenitude as an uncontainable negativity? These questions imply that the many thresholds of language, labor and finitude that have repeatedly delimited, governed and consigned the animal and human in metaphysical thought and practice can be remapped as a properly political dominion; a wildlife reserve in which philosophical, ethological, and anthropological declaratives and descriptions encrypt zoopolitical relations of power and force, and where the animal predicate circumscribes a concentrated time and space of subjugation, exposure, disappearance and abandonment.
Spotter: Ron Brunton