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Anthropocene and Animal Studies

The Anthropocene and Animal Studies Reading Group assembles a diverse cohort of scholars, artists, and thinkers across a range of disciplines to interrogate the place of the human in a dynamic, uncertain, and multispecies world.

From the fungal to the elemental, the animal to the isotopic, this group trains a wide-angle lens on those creatures, things, and assemblages which constitute our unequally shared and never-just-human worlds. Our readings do not abandon the human altogether, but rather draw upon the urgency of the Anthropocene to examine the past, present, and future of humanity’s embeddedness within a complex relational web.  We recognize the environment as a site for human domination of marginalized beings, as well as a space for pluralistic understandings of nature, and a horizon for imagining new cosmologies and social formations.

We are a nascent cohort (founded in 2014) that meets monthly to discuss critical texts, and seeks to feature a wide range of scholarly and artistic perspectives. Although the group is primarily a forum for graduate students in the humanities and related social sciences, all are welcome to join the conversation. Feel free to contact Knar Gavin (knarge@sas.upenn.edu), Nikhil Dharan (njdharan@sas.upenn.edu), or the Anthropocene Group email (pennthropocene@gmail.com) for more information.