«From Webtracing to Skyping with Your Dog» by Michael Lundblad


The following piece is a contribution by Michael Lundblad, Professor of Literature in English at the University of Oslo.


img_1725Perhaps we need new ways of writing about animals and inter-species interactions.

One way to start is by listening (maybe to the sounds of a humpback whale in Maui?).
You can also find out how David Rothenberg has written about and played music with various kinds of whales. Let it play while you keep reading?


Perhaps we can be more critically aware of the possibilities of linking, tracing, webbing various threads together online. The goal of what I want to call “webtracing” would not be to catch the “reality” of an animal in a visual or aural representation. Rather, we can call attention to the way we are constructing these webs, following these traces, tracking these encounters, in order to explore other ways of being in the world. The “question of the animal” (as Derrida has formulated it) helps us to think about non-hierarchical difference, about opening ourselves to different kinds of difference, to taking nonhuman animals seriously, to resisting the anthropocentrism that ranks human cognition and perception somehow highest. But how can taking these questions seriously change the way we actually write (and see and hear) various human and nonhuman others?

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