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Research The Groningen Research Institute for the Study of Culture (ICOG) Research Research centres Centre for International Relations Research (CIRR) Chair Group on History and Theory of International Relations Research themes Sheep, wool, landscape and connectivity

The art of being together

Human and non-human animals, movement and bio-political existence


In this paper we examine the proposition that movement provides greater insight into the relationship between human and non-human animals, a relationship that is critically important to understanding contemporary, bio-political existence. We do so by drawing on a recent commemoration of transhumance, the seasonal movement of herds and herdsmen, aiming to examine different conjunctions of movement and the relationship between human and non-human animals. The examination is articulated at two levels, empirical and theoretical. In both cases, we show how one of the two terms of the conjunction of movement and the relationship between human and non-human animals comes to be privileged over the other, resulting into a political impasse. We close by proposing that Jean-Luc Nancy's thought may offer a possible path out of the difficulty. Nancy's thinking about existence as poised precariously between the detachment of singularity and the attachments of multiplicity offers a way of understanding relations between human and non-human animals as always already transforming, and in a manner that does not, at the same time, undermine the possibility of political action.

This work is being undertaken in collaboration with Dr. Annalisa Colombino (Karl Franzens-Universität Graz).

Last modified:02 February 2022 11.26 a.m.