Knowing Animals Reading Group - 27 June - Naisargi N. Dave’s 'Witness: Humans, Animals and the Politics of Becoming'

Date: Monday, June 27, 2016 - 17:30 to 18:30

The article for discussion at our next reading group is: Naisargi N. Dave, 'Witness: Humans, Animals and the Politics of Becoming', Cultural Anthropology, Vo.29, p.433-456 and the session will be hosted by Yamini Narayanan, ARC DECRA Research Fellow, Deakin University.  The article is available online here:

"A prominent animal rights activist in New Delhi, explaining her relentlessness on behalf of animals, said to me the following: “I only wish there were a slaughterhouse next door. To witness that violence, to hear those screams . . . I would never be able to rest.” She was not alone among animal welfare activists in India in linking the witnessing of violence against an animal to the creation of a profound bond that demanded from her a life of responsibility."  This article argues that this moment of witnessing constitutes an intimate event in tethering human to nonhuman, expanding ordinary understandings of the self and its possible social relations, potentially blowing the conceit of humanity apart.

Yamini Narayanan will host the Reading Group discussion, drawing on her own research into this area, and hopefully we will get the chance to hear about her recent field work in India.

About the host

Yamini Narayanan was recently interviewed on the topic of The Un/Holy Cows of India for Freedom of Species. She has just published Religion, Heritage and the Sustainable City: Hinduism and Urbanisation in JaipurRoutledge, 2015,  and has the following book forthcoming: Religion and Urbanism: Reconceptualising Sustainable Cities for South AsiaRoutledge.

To join the reading group please contact: Linkway, level 4, John Medley (Building 191), The University of Melbourne