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John Clayton's 'Park Rats; Exploring a violent continuum of more-than-human indifference and post-humanity' / Diana, Beljaars

Civic Spaces and Desire, Issue: 1

Swansea University Author: Diana, Beljaars

Abstract

This chapter consists of the paper presented by John Clayton MA at the Spaces of Desire conference at Cardiff University in June/July 2016. It is left largely unedited and is introduced by Diana Beljaars. John sadly passed away four months after the conference. It had been his brain-child, and after...

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Published in: Civic Spaces and Desire
Published: London Routledge 2019
URI: https://cronfa.swan.ac.uk/Record/cronfa50164
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Abstract: This chapter consists of the paper presented by John Clayton MA at the Spaces of Desire conference at Cardiff University in June/July 2016. It is left largely unedited and is introduced by Diana Beljaars. John sadly passed away four months after the conference. It had been his brain-child, and after the conference, he was adamant that its USP was preserved in an edited collection. The original abstract was as follows: “Notions of ‘war’ and ‘remembrance’ have specific human connotations which preclude the possibility of animal engagement with affective regimes of nationality and identity formation. Yet the spaces in which a human passive synthesis of ‘remembrance’ takes place are pervaded by animal others contesting the boundaries of function and eroding an otherwise human ‘respectability’ for absent, honourable, dead. This [chapter] takes the existence of ratty residents of the remembrance park, and utilises this animal penetration of a human affective regime to discuss the synthesis of these elements within the context of historical conflict, the nascent Anthropocene, and potential post-human futures. The War-Rat assemblage will be traced from the fields of Flanders to future ruins expressing the manner by which the notion of human conflict may come to profit animal others and render the ‘nation’ no longer relevant. Heeding Deleuze & Guattari’s call to ‘know the body by its affects’ the rat becomes a transportable device through which human may be rendered rat through their scavenging. The park becomes the muddied ground in which nothing grows and homeless humans claim shelter and compete with rodent neighbours over leftover scraps.”
Item Description: John Clayton's next of kin has granted the author permission to write an introduction to the paper and granted Charles Drozynski and the author permission to use the paper in the edited book 'Civic Spaces and Desire' as the edited book had been pursued by Mr. Clayton until his passing.
Keywords: human-animal studies, animal geography, political geography, remembrance, geopolitics, rats, refugees, war, Deleuze, Guattari, vitalism, poststructuralism, continental philosophy, memorial
College: College of Science
Issue: 1