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The Ninth International Conference of the European Society for the Study of English: ESSE-9

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Sune Borkfelt - Speaker

Presented the paper "The Non-Human Colonial Subject: The Importance of Animal Bodies to British Imperialism". Abstract: Through history, the differences between human bodies have always been used as means of defining and justifying unequal power relations between different groups of human beings. Not least, bodily differences such as skin colour, height, facial features, dress and supposed sexual or dietary habits, have been used by European powers seeking to justify colonial expansion and imperialism through centuries. Often overlooked in this context are the intersections between European descriptions and treatment of Non-European humans on one hand and human, especially European, views on and treatment of non-human animals on the other. This paper aims to examine these intersections as they occurred within British imperial and colonial discourse. Arguing that the connection between views on Non-European humans and on non-human animals has been of great importance to European imperial attitudes in general and to British imperialism in particular, this paper connects such different issues as meat-eating, environmental control, slavery, human and non-human physical features and the connections between the views of bodies and the language used about them. Finally, it shows how remnants of such attitudes are found in some postcolonial societies today and suggests a way forward.
22 Aug 200826 Aug 2008


ConferenceThe Ninth International Conference of the European Society for the Study of English: ESSE-9


ID: 96797534