Diego Rossello on ‘Towards Agonistic Politics in a Zoopolis’

Apple is delighted to sponsor a 5-part series of remote talks in animal studies. Our first talk features Diego Rossello, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Universidad Adolfo Ibáñez. Professor Rossello’s talk will take place on:

Friday January 15th, from 4-5:30 PM EST


“On the (Missing) Concept of the Political in Animal Rights Theory’s ‘Political Turn’: Towards Agonistic Politics in a Zoopolis”

Zoom link: https://queensu.zoom.us/j/99646702437?pwd=UWQyanAyNlJQbXgrYVZQZW9UOUNLUT09


There is a “political turn” in recent animal rights theory (ART). The paper engages with the political turn in ART, and suggests that such turn is fraught with an underdeveloped concept of the political. The lack of a clear and widely shared definition of the political in ART’s so-called “political turn” generates analytical problems in the literature. For example, scholars in ART’s political turn tend to assimilate the political to different inflections of the ethical, without discussing, and ruling out, alternative conceptions of the political. The paper seeks to clarify the concept of the political presupposed in ART’s political turn and to sketch a more promising one, based on agonistic theories of democracy. In order to do so the paper draws on notions already available in ART, such as zoopolis and animal agora, and reworks them through conflict, friction and agon conceived beyond the human species. The paper illustrates how agonistic politics in a zoopolis could look like by discussing the case of the negro matapacos (black cop-killer dog) in recent popular uprisings in Chile.