BULLET TIME, BUCCANEERS, AND BOARS IN THE HAITIAN REVOLUTION
2018-2019 Romance Studies Dialogue Series with Thomas Parker, Associate Professor of French and Francophone Studies at Vassar
My talk focuses on slaughter, sacrifice, and pig-human narratives. I begin with a proto-colonial discourse involving food, agriculture, and animals in Homer's Odyssey. Horkheimer and Adorno called the Odyssey the "basic text of European civilization" and used it to explain how mimesis, acting like or becoming the other, allows the Homeric hero to control himself and others. My own investigation traces a human-pig mimetic paradigm from Circe's island to Temple Grandin's use of autism to "become the animal," and envision "humane" slaughterhouses. I show what happens when human actors are no longer able to separate themselves out from the animals they process.