In this talk, Maneesha Deckha calls for a non-anthropocentric reorientation for Canadian law and other Western legal orders, by criticizing their treatment of animals as property, but also finding fault with personhood as an appropriate animal-friendly replacement. Instead, marshalling feminist and postcolonial insights, as well as critical animal studies, she theorizes a new legal category altogether, namely beingness, as better able to protect animals from exploitation and value animals for who they are. Professor Deckha’s talk will delineate this new concept as well as outline how the foundations of anthropocentric legal systems must otherwise change to move toward justice for animals.
20:00: Welcome by Olave Nduwanje
20:05: Maneesha Deckha (University of Victoria, CA): ‘Animals as Legal Beings: Contesting Anthropocentric Legal Orders’
20:35: Interview with Maneesha Deckha by Mariska Jung (Vrije Universiteit Brussel, BE)
21:05: Q&A with the public (through Zoom)
21:25 - 21:30: Round-up by Olave Nduwanje
You have open access to some publications of Maneesha Deckha on the subject:
A Series of More-Than-Human Encounters, a collaboration of Crosstalks and Kaaitheater, seeks to situate human to more-than-human relations, and conditions of liberation and co-existence in a world that has been modelled in a context of imperialism, patriarchy and capitalism.
Picture overview page: Maneesha Deckha
Maneesha Deckha (she/her/hers) is Professor and Lansdowne Chair in Law at the University of Victoria. Her research interests include animal law, feminist theory, critical animal studies, vulnerability studies, health law, bioethics, and reproductive policy. Her interdisciplinary scholarship has been funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada. She also held the Fulbright Visiting Chair in Law and Society at New York University. Professor Deckha currently serves as Director of the Animals & Society Research Initiative at the University of Victoria as well as on the Editorial Boards of Politics and Animals and Hypatia. She is an inaugural fellow of the Brooks Animal Studies Academic Network at the Brooks Institute for Animal Rights Law & Policy, and is a graduate of McGill University (BA), the University of Toronto (LLB) , and Columbia University (LLM). She is widely published and a recipient of several teaching-related awards.
Mariska Jung (she/her/hers) is a PhD candidate at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel in Belgium. She is based at the Department for Political Sciences and affiliated to RHEA, the university’s research center on gender, diversity and intersectionality. In addition she is a member of the Race-Religion Constellation research hub at Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen, the Netherlands. Jung studies contemporary racism in Europe and theorizes the dynamics between race, religion and animal(s/ity). As such her work is situated at the crossroads of political theory, critical animal studies, critical race theory, religious studies and gender and queer scholarship.
Burundi-born Olave Nduwanje (she/her/hers) identifies as a non-binary trans femme. She is a published author, legal scholar, activist (anti-racism, LGBTQI+ rights, anti-capitalism, disability rights, anti-ecocide, etc.). Nduwanje has provided literary contributions to the following titles: Zwart-Afro-Europese literatuur uit de Lage Landen (2018), De Goede Immigrant (2020) and Being Imposed Upon (2020). You can find her on Instagram (@Nduwanje), Twitter (@OlaveTalks) and Youtube (@OlaveTalks). She has been based in Brussels since 2019.
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