March 15: (Un)forgiving Animals: On the limits of neoliberal resilience

Ongoing Interdisciplinary Lecture Series – March event:

Unforgiving animals image

  • Dr. Nicole Shukin,
    Dept. of English
  • Thursday, March 15
    3:00 – 4:00 p.m.
  •  Fraser Building
  • Free Admission

Image from Hayao Miyazaki’s Princess Mononoke (1997)

Looking at how life has “bounced back” (or not) after the 2011 TEPCO nuclear disaster in Fukushima, Japan, this talk builds on critiques of the neoliberal virtue of resilience by examining the value placed on multispecies resilience after Fukushima. Describing multispecies resilience as forgiving makes visible the affective as well as material economies within which other animals become instrumental to redeeming a future for catastrophic capitalism.

Unexpectedly, however, some species – particularly unruly wild boars that have proliferated in the nuclear exclusion zone in Fukushima – bounce back with a vengeance, presenting an excessive and unforgiving fall-out that I propose is suggestive of how nonhumans can go “on strike” against the affective and material labour of reproducing the life-conditions of capital and of the human.

Nicole Shukin is an Associate Professor in the Department of English at the University of Victoria, Canada and member of the interdisciplinary graduate program in Cultural, Social, and Political Thought (CSPT). She is the author of Animal Capital: Rendering Life in Biopolitical Times (2009), and has written on a wide range of topics related to capitalist naturecultures, including the biopolitics of cinematic affect, multispecies perspectives on war and security, and rhetorics of resilience.

For more information visit:

Animals and Society Research Initiative