The purpose of this lecture series is to highlight new and creative research in the growing field of animal studies. This series will particularly emphasize how Canadian scholars, jurists, and writers have played a disproportionately influential role in the development of this interdisciplinary subject.
Alex Blanchette (Tufts University), “Off-Animals, Creatures of an Exhausted Industrial Capitalism”
Discussant: Amy Fitzgerald (University of Windsor)
“Off-animals,” as they are called by some managers of North American pork production, are the biological refuse of agribusiness’s efforts to realize standardized hog life and death. Ranging from aged boars to misshapen pigs, recent attempts to industrially slaughter these creatures for meat has led to a shadow infrastructure of killing that underpins the world’s largest factory farms. Arching through and beyond Blanchette’s recent book, Porkopolis: American Animality, Standardized Life, and the Factory Farm (2020), this talk outlines an ethnography of these animals to offer new lines of sight onto the waning state of industrial labor and value in Canada and the United States today.