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Karel Kosík (1926–2003) was one of the most remarkable Czech Marxist philosophers of the twentieth century. His reputation as a creative thinker is owed largely to his philosophical ‘blockbuster’ Dialectics of the Concrete, first published in Czechoslovakia in 1963. In reintroducing Kosík’s philosophy to English-speaking readers, we show that Kosík’s work is important not only as a leading intellectual document of the Prague Spring, but also as an original theoretical contribution with international impact that sheds light on the meaning of labour and praxis, democracy and economic structure, dialectics and the crises of modernity.

Contributors include: Ian Angus, Siyaves Azeri, Vít Bartoš, Jan Černý, Joseph Grim Feinberg, Diana Fuentes, Gabriella Fusi, Tomáš Hermann, Tomáš Hříbek, Xiaohan Huang, Peter Hudis, Petr Kužel, Ivan Landa, Michael Löwy, Jan Mervart, Anselm K. Min, Tom Rockmore, Francesco Tava, and Xinruo Zhang.
Translator: Nathaniel Thomas
The German-Austrian social theorist and philosopher Leo Kofler (1907–1995) represents what Oskar Negt once called ‘unmutilated, living Marxism’. Throughout his life he dealt with issues of history and modernity, Marxist philosophy and the critique of ideology, philosophical anthropology and aesthetics. In this volume, author and Kofler biographer Christoph Jünke elucidates the contours of his philosophy of praxis, traces an arc from the socialist classics to postmodernism, and outlines the socialist humanist thinker’s enduring relevance. The book also includes six essays by Leo Kofler published in English for the first time.

The main work was first published in German as Leo Koflers Philosophie der Praxis: Eine Einführung by Laika Verlag by Laika Verlag, 2015, ISBN 978-944233-33-8. Copyright by Laika Verlag.
Volume Editors: Natalie Khazaal and Núria Almiron
The contributors of Like an Animal challenge most fundamental concepts in the fields of racism, dehumanization, borders, displacement, and refugees that rest on the assumption of humanism. They show how we can bend the arc of the moral universe toward justice at the border. The goal of this interdisciplinary collection is twofold. First, to invite border/migration studies to consider a broader social justice perspective that includes nonhuman animals. Second, to start a discussion if nonhumans maybe refugees of a kind and how humans can address nonhumans’ interests and needs from the perspective of addressing refugee issues. As capitalism and the climate crisis are taking a catastrophic toll on the planet, this timely volume exposes the alternative origins of violence that lie at the heart of the planet’s destruction.

Abstract

Contextualised by Brexit reports about UK dependency on Romanian nationals in the UK animal agriculture and slaughter industries, Claire Parkinson’s chapter discusses animal-human entanglements in media discourses that narrativize the movement of human and nonhuman animals between Romania and the UK. It argues that animal bodies are transformed through bordering processes, where borders are taken to be the material and symbolic markers that organize power relations and bordering is the process by which boundaries are established and maintained. This chapter examines bordering in relation to anti-immigration rhetoric and nationalistic discourse and proposes that critical animal studies approaches can further interrogate bordering and highlight its entanglements with the culturally constructed borders between human and nonhuman animals that fundamentally underpin speciesism.

In: Like an Animal: Critical Animal Studies Approaches to Borders, Displacement, and Othering
Author: Erin M. Evans

Abstract

Erin M. Evans describes the human-induced climate change as a global public health crisis. Threats to public health resulting from climate change range from extreme weather events, water scarcity, increasing rates of infectious diseases, and even wildfires, result in forced migration of human and nonhuman animals, also called “climate refugees.” Forced climate migration is one symptom of neoliberal globalization—a structural deprivation of care that is steering social movements to use care as a political opportunity. These care movements mobilize for goals related to providing and receiving care, including unionizing care workers, protecting indigenous land and animals from industrial production, eliminating abusive animal practices, or establishing universal health care programs. In this chapter, Erin Evans theorizes about the possibilities that these goals offer for broad coalition-building and for challenging structural arrangements facilitating environmental destruction and increasing populations of human and nonhuman climate refugees.

In: Like an Animal: Critical Animal Studies Approaches to Borders, Displacement, and Othering
Author: Núria Almiron

Abstract

Núria Almiron reflects on the solidarity toward displaced humans and nonhumans from the perspective of communication ethics. The author examines Lillie Chouliaraky’s theory of an ethics of irony, which refers to the insincere stance that media and communication promote toward distant suffering. This examination is used to reflect on how the ethical discussion of the representation of distant human suffering—as in the case of migrants and refugees—is strongly shaped by the human-nonhuman binary. The discussion includes much of the criticisms raised against the political economy producing this binary, yet it fails to problematize it. Since racism and speciesism are intertwined, failing to critically address the binary limits the analysis and reinforces the root problem: the structural violence of the world system. The chapter argues that the discussion of the ethics of representing human distant suffering is incomplete, and even counterproductive, without a critical interspecies gaze.

In: Like an Animal: Critical Animal Studies Approaches to Borders, Displacement, and Othering
Author: Steven Best

Abstract

Steven Best’s essay examines how a flawed security model and immigration policies in the US, from Clinton to Trump, exacerbated the “migrant crisis” in the US and has catastrophic effects on numerous human communities, nonhuman animals and biodiversity, and the environment. Contextualizing Trump’s racist and xenophobic policies within this history and the rise of far-right ideologies and movements in the US, it analyzes the aggressive building of barriers along the US-Mexico boundary in terms of its real effects and symbolic status. The essay analyzes the emergence of a new “migrant-detention-industrial complex” and interprets the building of the border wall as a new front in the war on wildlife.

In: Like an Animal: Critical Animal Studies Approaches to Borders, Displacement, and Othering

Abstract

Traditionally, human and nonhuman animal migration were thought to occupy distinct and separate sociopolitical spheres of knowledge. We romanticize the migration of other animals, taking an overly naturalistic view of the journey of gray whales, caribou, or deer as they follow the change of seasons across international borders. But when we theorize about human migration, we tend to do so with worry and concern about displacement, persecution, safety, and the threat of mass movements. As a consequence, human and nonhuman animal migration are considered in separate categories, with different demographics and definitions, governed by wholly separate legal documents.

This chapter shows that the idea that human and nonhuman animal migration must be understood separately and in isolation from one another is rigorously put to the test by climate change. Whole populations of humans and other animals will be threatened to migrate toward the poles as their habitat is destroyed by global warming, mounting environmental disasters, and the encroaching ocean. The law—compartmentalized, siloized, reactive, and often oppressive—is not prepared to face these challenges. To address and begin to resolve the challenges of climate change on migration, we must resolve the deep-seated, structural problems that plague human and nonhuman animal migration law—including deregulation, illegalization, and securitization, and the human-animal borderlands that connects these. Drawing on the work of human and nonhuman animal migration experts and new research on rehumanization, this chapter examines this cutting-edge intersection from a legal perspective and sketches the policy goals and measures that can help avert a global migration crisis and build up interspecies resilience.

In: Like an Animal: Critical Animal Studies Approaches to Borders, Displacement, and Othering
Author: Garrett Bunyak

Abstract

Garrett Bunyak demonstrates the extent to which animal representations and animality prop up the legitimacy of racist, sexist, and nationalist institutions and culture. He argues that the association of migrants with non-human animals simultaneously marks migrants, women, people of color, animals, and all of nature as inferior to an imagined and idealized rational white male citizen subject. In this context, nationalistic and capitalistic desires such as security and profit are realized through the exploitation and control of all of these maligned “others.” He points to the work of Gloria Anzaldúa to outline a Chicana/ecofeminist framework and imagine other possible ways of living based on care, respect, and reciprocity in a world full of diversity.

In: Like an Animal: Critical Animal Studies Approaches to Borders, Displacement, and Othering