"""History of Animal Governmentality: Models of Animal Exploitation and Resistance in Europe (mid-17th-19th Centuries)"" (GOVERN-ANIMALITY) investigates the different forms of animal exploitation taking place in Europe between the mid-17th and the 19th century. By linking together concepts and practices of human relationships to other animals, my aim is to write an epistemological and political history of animal government. To this end, I use different kinds of historical sources, ranging from philosophical, naturalistic, and economic texts to technical manuals (equestrian, veterinary, and zootechnical works). My central question is: what are the actual logics of power over animals, and how did they change over the course of the modern period? By adopting an interdisciplinary approach, GOVERN-ANIMALITY intertwines the epistemological problem of the status of living beings in the history of philosophy and science, with the material history of animal husbandry. This project uses methodological tools that have not been previously employed in the analysis of animal exploitation: namely, historical epistemology and Foucault’s genealogy. By including the voice of the technicians of animal exploitation – who provide abundant testimony of animals' needs and resistance –, this project also aims to restore, at least in part, the agency of animals. Moreover, it looks at the connections between animal inferiorization and mechanisms of animalisation deployed against a variety of human categories. Within the context of a growing academic and social interest in the relationship between human societies and nature, intensified by recent ecological and pandemic crises, GOVERN-ANIMALITY thus provides a critical reflection on the shaping of modern forms of knowledge-power over living beings, characterising Western societies."
Fields of science
- HORIZON.1.2 - Marie Skłodowska-Curie Actions (MSCA) Main Programme