HIVES is an ongoing scholarly, artistic, and communal organization dedicated to developing an understanding of the ways in which matter and beings function in interdependent networks. This research workshop seeks to create a generative space for conversations at the intersections of disability studies and animal studies in popular culture. In his book Brilliant Imperfection, Eli Clare emphasizes how “White Western culture goes to extraordinary lengths to deny the vital relationships between water and stone, plant and animal, human and nonhuman, as well as the utter reliance of human upon human” (Clare 136). Clare offers the disability studies notion of interdependence as a way to undo fantastical narratives of independence and the individual. HIVES is an engagement with hiveminds, relationality, and interdependence across and within animal/human divides. This research workshop draws on popular culture in the form of novels, films, and video games and theory from disability studies to critical race theory to queer studies to animal studies in order to think through disrupting white western denials of interdependence. We are guided by the questions: what are the potentials and pitfalls of the overlap between disability and animal studies? what forms of inter-reliance arise from lived disabled existence and/or representations of disabled characters in popular culture? what does (and does not) separate animals and humans? what frictions exist in turning to animal studies to find alternate conceptions of relational being?
Permanent HIVES coordinators:
Jessica Stokes: Jessica Stokes has a purple wheelchair and a lot of hair. She lives in Michigan.
Michael Stokes: Michael Stokes is a sci fi buff who is not buff. He lives in a state of confusion.
HIVES contributors (an obviously non-exhaustive list):
MSU’s Council of Graduate Students
Dean Bill Hart-Davidson
Jonny W. Thurston
Cheryl L. Caesar
Kimberly Ann Priest
Claire K. Robbins