Playing Cat's Cradle with Companion Species

The Wellek Lectures, 2011
Videos


*** NOTE: When the Critical Theory Institute was discontinued, its website (home to these Wellek Lecture videos) was not maintained. Until the archived videos are again made accessible, these videos cannot be viewed. ***

Lecture Series Description: Being companion species is relentlessly about "becoming with" and is one way to refuse human exceptionalism without invoking posthumanism. The concept of companion species plays the cat's cradle games where who is/are to be in the world gets constituted in intra-and inter-action. The partners do not precede the meeting; species of all kinds are consequent upon worldly subject- and object-shaping entanglements. In human-animal worlds, companion species are ordinary beings-in-encounter in the house, lab, field, zoo, park, truck, office, prison, ranch, arena, village, human hospital, slaughter house, vet clinic, stadium, barn, wildlife preserve, farm, city streets, factory, and more. I am especially committed to inhabiting both the trouble and the vitality of the contact zones of companion species called "domestic," where the situated work and play of myriad critters (including people) make history.

The Wellek Library Lectures were recorded May 2-5, 2011 at the Critical Theory Institute, UC Irvine.
The poster at left was designed and produced by Nasser Mufti.

 

Note: The Wellek Library Lecture pages linked below require the browser plugin Silverlight. When you click on one of the lecture titles, if you don't already have Silverlight installed, you will be given a link to download it.

Lecture 1
Playing Cat's Cradle with Companion Species: Speculative Fabulation, String Figures, and a Feminist Multispecies Open

Lecture 2
Love in a Time of Extinctions and Exterminations: Staying with the Trouble

Lecture 3
Zoopolis, Becoming Worldly, and Trans-species Urban Theory: For Old Cities Yet to Come

 


Baila Goldenthal, Cat's Cradle/String Theory, 2008

"Coyotes Running Opposite Ways" string figure

Image ©Colin Jerolmack

 

 

Please notify the webmaster of any problems with this Web page.