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Imagining the nation as a ‘web’ of animals — affective entanglements between animality and (nation)alism

Wanniarachchi, Senel (2022) Imagining the nation as a ‘web’ of animals — affective entanglements between animality and (nation)alism. Cultural Politics. ISSN 1743-2197 (In Press)

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While existing scholarship is largely interested in exploring how a particular (non-human) animal symbol is mobilized to support a specific exclusionary agenda, what happens when the very nation, is imagined as a ‘web’ of different constituent ‘species’? In this article, I examine four non-human animal symbols — the lion, the tiger, the pig and the butterfly which have been mobilized in Sri Lanka to delineate (imaginary) boundaries between different communities that reside there. The article combines critical animal studies and nationalism studies scholarship with affect theory to complicate the current understandings on the relationships between animality, affect and nationalism. A focus on affect, I argue, can open up a line of inquiry that is invisible to our current accounts on the relationships between animality and nationalism by demonstrating how animality can not only be instrumentalized as a tool for domination and subordination, but also as a tool for subversion, refusal and contestation. Tracing the different ways in which animality gets mobilized to represent various communities that reside within the nation, the article highlights the complex ways in which animality can be mobilized within nation-building and how bodies negotiate and respond to such assignations.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2022 Duke University Press.
Divisions: Gender Studies
Subjects: H Social Sciences
Date Deposited: 29 Nov 2022 11:48
Last Modified: 15 Sep 2023 17:25

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