Interspecies

Discuss the notion of 'Interspecies' in general

Links:

On art: Interspecies Art

On culture: Culture

On design: Interspecies Design

In teaching: Interspecies Design Studio

Key Issues

The need to extend beyond species and - especially - beyond animals.

Relationship to all oppression, as discussed in the Intersectionality discourse.

Alexis, Nekeisha Alayna. ‘Beyond Compare: Intersectionality and Interspeciesism for Co-Liberation with Other Animals’. In The Routledge Handbook of Animal Ethics, edited by Bob Fischer, 502. New York: Routledge, 2020.

Thus, the challenge in interspecies approaches is not only to acknowledge the relatedness of all species or beings but also to see them in a way that does not a priori preferences some (humans) over the others.

Definition

Interspecies refers to relationships between forms of biosocial life and their political effects.

Livingston, Julie, and Jasbir K. Puar. ‘Interspecies’. Social Text 29, no. 1 (106) (2011): 3–14. https://doi.org/10/b8587n.

This concept makes sense as a deliberate contrast and a way of resisting the hegemonic and anthropocentric interpretations of what is important. In this, it is in parallel to interracial, international, etc.

Interspecies focuses on life and emphasises the life in common. It focus on politics accepts conflicting as well as mutualistic interests and does not presume an overarching benefit. In this, it is process-oriented and encourages inclusion, solidarity and empowerment.

In ecology:

  • interspecific interactions = community
  • intraspecific interactions = population

Andel, Jelte van, and James Aronson, eds. Restoration Ecology: The New Frontier. Malden: Blackwell, 2006.

Limitations

There are significant limitations to the notion of interspecies anything. This is to do that speciation is a particular historical event more clearly associated with protists and protozoans, after the Great Oxygenation Event. Archaea and bacteria do not really have species, or at least there is a strong argument that they do not because they trade genes horizontally so much. Cf. Quammen, Dorian Sagan, Lynn Margulis the idea of 'superorganism' (Lamza).

Interspecies prioritises species, why not other taxa or groups? Maybe genes? Biologically, one could refer to different entities of natural selection. Politically, one could refer to traditions, powerful groups, law and, therefore, politics.

Disambiguation

Some researchers use the terms 'interspeciality' and 'interspeciecism' to refer to the capabilities of bio-technologies and the production of hybrid beings that emerge from reproductive technologies, molecular science, genomics, genetics, transplant medicine, nanoscience and robotic surgery.

Interspecies Communities

Goodale, Eben, Guy Beauchamp, and Graeme D. Ruxton. Mixed-Species Groups of Animals: Behavior, Community Structure, and Conservation. London: Academic Press, 2017.

Interspecies Solidarity

Interspecies solidarity:

  • an idea
  • a goal
  • a process
  • an ethical commitment
  • a political project that

Interspecies solidarity "can help foster better conditions for animals, improve people’s work lives, and interweave human and animal well-being".

Interactions of multiple species can lead to 'interspecies work'. (here the focus is on sentient species)

Coulter, Kendra. Animals, Work, and the Promise of Interspecies Solidarity. Palgrave Macmillan, 2016.

Interspecies Justice

Interspecies deliberation is an extension of notions such as interspecies dialogue.

Meijer, Eva. When Animals Speak: Toward an Interspecies Democracy. New York: New York University Press, 2019.

Vink, Janneke. The Open Society and Its Animals. The Palgrave Macmillan Animal Ethics Series. Cham: Palgrave Macmillan, 2020.

Issues:

  • animals and different humans
  • animals and future humans
  • different types of animals
  • beyond animals

Interspecies Information Systems

Linden, Dirk van der. ‘Interspecies Information Systems’. Requirements Engineering, 2021. https://doi.org/10/gmmvps.

In a common understanding: an information system is a socio-technical system that include humans, technology, information, and actions humans take based on that information.

In interspecies information system human and animals are actors and stakeholders. NB: the typical focus is on animals.

Zoosemiotics

Zoosemiotics looks at interspecific communication and language.

Martinelli, Dario. A Critical Companion to Zoosemiotics. Dordrecht: Springer, 2010.


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