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Minimal Animals: Medieval Oysters and Our Nonconsensual Existence
Natural philosophy from Aristotle to Higden to Diderot conceived of oysters as the hinge between plant and animal life. Without any sense but touch, unable to move, and having no defense but a shell, oysters represented animal life at its barest. The usual move in the last decade’s work in posthumanist philosophy would be to recognize the “agency” of these and other oysters. CMRS Distinguished Visiting Scholar Karl Steel (Associate Professor, English, Brooklyn College and Graduate Center, CUNY) will challenge this tendency by “oystermorphizing” humans, to argue that a thoroughgoing posthumanism should concentrate as much on helplessness as agency.
Co-sponsored by the UCLA Department of English.
Advance registration not required. No fee. Limited seating.