Animal Revolution

2022
Author:

Ron Broglio
Illustrations by Marina Zurkow
Afterword by Eugene Thacker

Why our failure to consider the power of animals is to our deep detriment

A witty, informative, and captivating work at the juncture of posthumanism, animal studies, phenomenology, and environmental studies, Animal Revolution threads together news accounts (from radioactive boar invading towns to jellyfish disarming battleships) and more in a powerful and timely work of creative, speculative nonfiction that imagines a revolution stirring and asks how humans can be a part of it.

Might animals be deliberately ‘jamming the anthropological machine’? This is the brilliant question Animal Revolution asks its readers to consider through sly interpretations of destructive animal acts. Readers will enjoy the shrewdness Ron Broglio lends to various animal behaviors, even as his insights inevitably reveal our own shortsightedness and remind us that we are the most invasive and destructive species.

Kari Weil, author of Precarious Partners: Horses and Their Humans in Nineteenth-Century France

Animals are staging a revolution—they’re just not telling us. From radioactive boar invading towns to jellyfish disarming battleships, this book threads together news accounts and more in a powerful and timely work of creative, speculative nonfiction that imagines a revolution stirring and asks how humans can be a part of it. If the coronavirus pandemic has taught us anything, it is that we should pay attention to how we bump up against animal worlds and how animals will push back. Animal Revolution is a passionate, provocative, cogent call for us to do so.

Ron Broglio reveals how fur and claw and feather and fin are jamming the gears of our social machine. We can try to frame such disruptions as environmental intervention or through the lens of philosophy or biopolitics, but regardless the animals persist beyond our comprehension in reminding us that we too are part of an animal world. Animals see our technologies and machines as invasive beings and, in a nonlinguistic but nonetheless intensive mode of communicating with us, resist our attempts to control them and diminish their habitats. In doing so, they expose the environmental injustices and vulnerabilities in our systems.

A witty, informative, and captivating work—at the juncture of posthumanism, animal studies, phenomenology, and environmental studies—Broglio reminds us of our inadequacy as humans, not our exceptionalism.

Ron Broglio is professor of English, director of Desert Humanities, and associate director of the Institute for Humanities Research at Arizona State University. He is author or editor of several books, including Beasts of Burden: Biopolitics, Labor, and Animal Life and Surface Encounters: Thinking with Animals and Art (Minnesota, 2011).

Media and participatory practice artist Marina Zurkow connects people to nature–culture tensions and environmental messes, offering humor and new ways of knowing, connecting, and feeling. She is working on visualizing future oceans and connecting eaters to food opportunities in changing climates.

Eugene Thacker is the author of several books, including In the Dust of This Planet and Infinite Resignation. He teaches at The New School in New York City.

Might animals be deliberately ‘jamming the anthropological machine’? This is the brilliant question Animal Revolution asks its readers to consider through sly interpretations of destructive animal acts. Readers will enjoy the shrewdness Ron Broglio lends to various animal behaviors, even as his insights inevitably reveal our own shortsightedness and remind us that we are the most invasive and destructive species.

Kari Weil, author of Precarious Partners: Horses and Their Humans in Nineteenth-Century France

Ron Broglio’s Animal Revolution holds human beings accountable for this myopic, dichotomous approach to animals. There is always something else, or something other, when it comes to the animal. There is no ‘animal’ without the human to name it as such; animals themselves could not care less.

Eugene Thacker, from the Afterword

Contents

Manifesto: Animal Revolution

Part I

1. There Are No Miracles for Animals

2. Putting a Horse before the Cart

3. Why Don’t We Do It in the Road?

4. Beyond Confines and toward Hospitality

5. Laugh Now, but One Day We’ll Be in Charge

6. The Exploit

7. Return of the Repressed

Interlude: Multiplicities

Part II

8. The State of the Union

9. Exploit Continued, or The Exploit Exploits

10. Other Intelligences

11. Giving Voice

12. Voice and Other Intelligences Continued

13. The Crack

14. Bearing Witness

Coda, or Why We Need Better Stories

Afterword: Beasts of Sorrow

Eugene Thacker

Acknowledgments

Index