Mayanthi Fernando, Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of California – Santa Cruz, and Weatherhead Resident Scholar, SAR
Why are scholars more open to accepting mosquitos, mollusks, and mountains—rather than angels, djinn, and other spirits—as historical actors with whom humans are always in relation? How does secular knowledge focusing on “the real,” that which is material and visible, make it difficult to think of “the supernatural” as part of nature and culture? And how might we re-entangle the supernatural with the human and the natural? This exploratory talk examines how and why multispecies and post-humanist scholarship expands definitions of being yet restricts other-than-humans to entities that have been understood as part of “the natural.” Reading against the grain and alongside traditions like the Islamic sciences of the unseen, Mayanthi Fernando argues that recent trends in post-humanist scholarship offer epistemological horizons beyond those of secular materialism.
This event is free and open to the public. The presentation will take place in the Eric S. Dobkin Boardroom on the SAR campus. Advanced registration is encouraged.