Lynching, Animality, and Animals (ASLE June 2011; deadline for abstracts October 30, 2010)

full name / name of organization: 
Lindgren Johnson/Association for the Study of Literature and the Environment
contact email: 

Seeking abstracts for a panel at ASLE that take a challenging and innovative approach to the impact of nonhuman animals, both material and rhetorical, on Southern lynchings:

Over the last two decades lynching studies has become firmly established in the academy. As critical animal studies now makes its way into African American studies how could and should it change the way we approach lynching?

Questions to consider might include:

*What roles do both wild and domesticated animals play in the construction of the "black beast" and white masculinity?
*What are the connections between the anti-lynching and animal welfare movements in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries?
*If lynchings are often constructed as "hunts," what might be the links between the decrease in "trophy" animal populations and the increase in spectacle lynchings at the end of the nineteenth century?
*Can an approach to lynching via animal studies shed new light on how lynching's violence came to be seen not only as acceptable but as a form of entertainment? Can it offer a new way to critique racist violence?
*How is an uncritical rhetoric of animality—and speciesism itself--in play in current scholarly work/exhibits (such as Without Sanctuary) on lynching? And why?

Please send an abstract (and any questions) to Lindgren Johnson ( by October 30, 2010.
The 2011 ASLE conference takes place June 21-26, 2011 in Bloomington, Indiana. Information is available at