Biodiversity and the Abyssal Limits of the Human

Biodiversity and the Abyssal Limits of the Human It has been often noted that Derrida said nothing directly about climate change. He did, on the other hand, say a lot about animals. While Timothy Clark can assert that "environmental questions look like a perplexing and seemingly expanding absence or even evasion in Derrida's writing" (2010, 132), Cary Wolfe can state with confidence that Derrida's essay "The Animal That Therefore I Am (More to Follow)" is "arguably the single most important event in the brief history of animal studies" (2009, 570). That these two statements may be equally true reveals a good deal about the evolution of environmental criticism and animal studies as separate enterprises. For all the burgeoning interest in Derrida's late work on "the question...of the living animal," a theme which, for him, "will always have been the most important and decisive question" (34), less emphasis than might be expected has been placed on its ecological implications. That is to say, there has been a surprising dearth of attention to the ways in which, despite his lack of explicit engagement with environmental crisis, Derrida's interrogation of humanism and animality, of otherness and subjectivity and the ethics and politics that arise from that, returns us to http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png symploke University of Nebraska Press

Biodiversity and the Abyssal Limits of the Human

symploke, Volume 21 (1) – Dec 22, 2013

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Publisher
University of Nebraska Press
Copyright
Copyright © 2008 symploke.
ISSN
1534-0627
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

It has been often noted that Derrida said nothing directly about climate change. He did, on the other hand, say a lot about animals. While Timothy Clark can assert that "environmental questions look like a perplexing and seemingly expanding absence or even evasion in Derrida's writing" (2010, 132), Cary Wolfe can state with confidence that Derrida's essay "The Animal That Therefore I Am (More to Follow)" is "arguably the single most important event in the brief history of animal studies" (2009, 570). That these two statements may be equally true reveals a good deal about the evolution of environmental criticism and animal studies as separate enterprises. For all the burgeoning interest in Derrida's late work on "the question...of the living animal," a theme which, for him, "will always have been the most important and decisive question" (34), less emphasis than might be expected has been placed on its ecological implications. That is to say, there has been a surprising dearth of attention to the ways in which, despite his lack of explicit engagement with environmental crisis, Derrida's interrogation of humanism and animality, of otherness and subjectivity and the ethics and politics that arise from that, returns us to

Journal

symplokeUniversity of Nebraska Press

Published: Dec 22, 2013

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