From: <> on behalf of Rosemary Collard <>
Sent: Tuesday, 19 September 2017 12:04 AM
To: AnGSG;;
Cc: jessica dempsey; Kathryn Gillespie
Subject: ANGSG: 2018 AAG CFP: Capitalism and anthropocentrism: Beyond the trap of intrinsic/extrinsic value?
Call for papers
American Association of Geographers Annual Meeting
New Orleans, 10-14 April 2018

Capitalism and anthropocentrism: Beyond the trap of intrinsic/extrinsic value?

Session organizers: Rosemary Collard (Geography, Concordia), Jessica Dempsey (Geography, UBC) & Katie Gillespie (Animal Studies, Wesleyan)

What is the relationship between capitalism and anthropocentrism? 

Anthropocentrism can be understood as a set of social relations with material foundations (to paraphrase Hartmann’s [1979] definition of patriarchy), characterized by hierarchical relations between humans and nonhumans. As “a robust, interlocking, complex series of discursive and material practices” (Calarco 2014, 418), anthropocentrism founds exclusions not only along human/nonhuman lines, but also among human beings, where it is at work in what Sylvia Wynter calls a "hierarchy of humanness" (see McKittrick 2014). Finally, anthropocentrism is a dynamic logic of devaluation under capitalism. Several key processes in the formation and evolution of capitalism – colonial expansion, early enclosures in England, witch hunts, Fordism, neoliberalism and so on – were not only about about shifting and consolidating power relations between humans but also between humans and animals, generally in ways that relied on and reinforced anthropocentrism and escalated animal death and confinement. 

In this session we are interested in exploring the role of anthropocentrism in the development and operation of capitalism, and how, in turn, capitalist development has shaped anthropocentric understandings of human-nonhuman relations. We hope that working to grasp the relationship between capitalism and anthropocentrism will provide a different lens for understanding and responding to socio-ecological crises such as biodiversity loss. Debates over such crises, it seems to us, become stuck on whether nonhumans have intrinsic or extrinsic value. An open question for this session is whether this persistent intrinsic/extrinsic dualism has been a barrier to forging links between analyses of anthropocentrism and other modes of domination and oppression - and if so, how we might push past the intrinsic/extrinsic trap.

Interested session participants should send an abstract (no more than 250 words) to all three session organizers:, and by October 15.

Calarco, Matthew. 2014. Being toward meat: anthropocentrism, indistinction, and veganism. Dialectical Anthropology 38 (4): 415-429.
Hartmann, Heidi. 1979. The unhappy marriage of Marxism and feminism: Towards a more progressive union. Capital & Class 3 (2): 1-33.
McKittrick, Katherine, ed. 2014. Sylvia Wynter: On Being Human as Praxis. Duke University Press.


Get involved with the Animal Geography Specialty Group!
Join the AAG Knowledge Community
Visit our website
Twitter @AAG_ANGSG
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "Animal Geography Specialty Group" group.
To unsubscribe from this group and stop receiving emails from it, send an email to
For more options, visit