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Ahuman Escape Routes

An Interview with Patricia MacCormack

Ariane de Waal, Mark Schmitt

Pages 159 - 173

Abstract: Patricia MacCormack is Professor of Continental Philosophy at Anglia Ruskin University. She has authored and (co-)edited numerous books addressing subjects ranging from feminism, ecology, and animal rights to death studies and the philosophy of cinema. With the edited collection ‘The Animal Catalyst: Towards Ahuman Theory’ (2014), MacCormack introduced ahuman theory as her conceptual response to issues of posthumanism. This work culminated in her 2020 book ‘The Ahuman Manifesto: Activism for the End of the Anthropocene’. In this interview with Ariane de Waal and Mark Schmitt, conducted via videoconference on 13 March 2023, Patricia MacCormack reflects on the often controversial reception of her ‘Ahuman Manifesto’ since its publication and traces the philosophical, aesthetic, and political origins of the major concepts and arguments driving the manifesto. She elaborates on her understanding of ahuman theory, which also provides the inspiration for this special issue of the ‘Journal for the Study of British Cultures’. Throughout the conversation, MacCormack situates ahuman theory more broadly in the context of her previous work and locates it in relation to wider discourses on decentring the human in posthuman thought. The conversation tackles questions of culture, politics, representation, aesthetics, and activism.

Keywords: activism, ahuman theory, antinatalism, ecosophy, posthumanism


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