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Antoine Traisnel Seminar: “Capture: American Pursuits and the Making of a New Animal Condition”

March 11 @ 3:30 pm - 5:15 pm

The American Literature and Science Series Presents:

Professor Antoine Traisnel (University of Michigan, English) will facilitate a seminar on the topic of his new book, Capture: American Pursuits and the Making of a New Animal Condition. Before the event, seminar participants will read the introduction and first chapter of Capture. Here is what Antoine has to say about the book:

My book offers a critical genealogy of the representation of animals as they came to be perceived as elusive and endangered over the nineteenth century. From Audubon’s still-life watercolors to Poe’s detective hunts to Muybridge’s trip-wire locomotion studies, the century witnessed a surge of artistic, literary, and scientific treatments that sought to “capture” the truth of animals at the historical moment when they were receding from everyday view. This compulsion to contain and record animals ushered in a visual regime where animals are rendered both known in advance (via technologies of knowledge and control) and unknowable (essentially fugitive, always on the verge of disappearance). Not only did this new visual regime of capture breed new aesthetic, literary, and medial genres and techniques (lifelike painting, detective fiction, the moving image), but it profoundly shaped the modern animal condition and contributed to normalizing the mass exploitation and erasure of animals as we know it today.

Zoom Lecture (registration required)
Registration link: https://unc.zoom.us/meeting/register/tJEvc-ygqzguH9a_UK2CV6SvpN51kEIaiJQ9o