As forms of defensive literature supporting systems of violence, recent conscious omnivore storytelling, particularly humane farming accounts and do-it-yourself slaughter reflections, and 19th century plantation romances known as anti-Tom novels disguise matters of power in order to paint subjugation with a benevolent, principled veneer. This erasure takes place through several literary and interpretive moves that result in a variety of ill-logics: peculiar, untenable and contradictory arguments born out of authors’ attempts to simultaneously adhere to liberationist principles while rejecting prohibitions against bloodshed and violence. In this talk, I will discuss how I came to work with these distinct but intersecting narratives, provide examples of their shared tactics for evading questions of power in systems of domination, and reflect on possible implications for our work as advocates for other animals.
Nekeisha Alayna Alexis is an independent scholar with wide-ranging interests in race, oppression and co-liberation with other animals; Christian ethics and theology concerning other animals; and connections between anarchist politics and liberative Christian faith and practice. The Trinidadian native and former New Yorker received her Bachelor of Arts degree from New York University with a focus in Africana studies. She also received a Masters of Arts: Theological Studies degree with a concentration in theology and ethics from Anabaptist Mennonite Biblical Seminary, Elkhart, Ind. Her forthcoming essays include, “Re/Considering Animals: A Black Woman’s Journey” in For PoC By VoC (Sanctuary Publishers 2018) and “There’s Something About the Blood: Tactics of evasion in narratives of violence” in Animaladies (Bloomsbury 2018). By day, Nekeisha works at AMBS as graphic designer and website specialist, and intercultural competence and undoing racism coordinator. In her off hours, she is a creator and agitator in and around the city of Elkhart. She is the co-organizer of the Downtown Soul Art and Music Series, which celebrates the work of diverse artists, and participates in activist efforts in support of disregarded human and other animal communities. Nekeisha is the co-founder and long-time organizer of the Jesus Radicals online network. She sustains her Spirit as a member of the UZIMA Drum and Dance troupe; performing with her music and poetry project, rebel noire; singing karaoke at dive bars; and nurturing relationships with the amazing persons she gets to call friends.