Nella Aarne
Of Animacy Reading Group

High Five Interchange, US 75 at I-635. Looking east.
Of Animacy Reading Group thinks through feminist engagements with human and nonhuman agents in the material world, spanning philosophy and natural and human sciences. The readings and discussions continue to meander through a multiplicity of concepts and ways of thinking, building a vibrant web of ideas – the shape and character of which is organically unfolding over time. The gatherings foster collective unpacking of selected texts and learning through open dialogue in a democratic space, with an aim to recognise and envisage vital alliances for our daily life and political thought. Always open to all, Of Animacy Reading Group has gathered at the ICA in London since 2017.

The reading group is currently reconfiguring its activities due to the COVID-19 pandemic. To find out more about past gatherings, please visit the ICA website.

For further information on the readings and gatherings, please email nella(a)

Earth Observatory images by Lauren Dauphin, using Landsat data from the U.S. Geological Survey.
23. Indigeneity Genome, ICA, 25 February 2020
    Kim TallBear, ‘The Genographic Project: The Business of Research and Representation’, Native American DNA: Tribal Belonging and the False Promise of Genetic Science (University of Minnesota Press, 2013)

22. Waste, ICA, 4 February 2020
    Françoise Vergès, ‘Capitalocene, Waste, Race, and Gender’, e-flux Journal (May 2019)

21. Undercurrents, ICA, 17 December 2019
    Rita Wong, Undercurrent (Nightwood Editions, 2015)

20. Of Animacy x Sonia Levy: Shells and Deep Seas, ICA, 19 November 2019
    Stacy Alaimo, ‘Your Shell on Acid: Material Immersion, Anthropocene Dissolves’, Exposed: Environmental Politics and Pleasures in Posthuman Times (University of Minnesota Press, 2016)

19. Immunity and Contagion, ICA, 24 September 2019
    Audronė Žukauskaitė, ‘Immunity and Contagion as Two Modes of Biopolitics’, Subjectivity, Vol. 10, Issue 3 (September 2017), pp. 243–257

18. Minerals, Stourhead National Trust, 28 August 2019
    Nils Bubandt, ‘Haunted Geologies: Spirits, Stones and the Necropolitics of the Anthropocene’, Arts of Living on a Damanged Planet (University of Minnesota Press, 2017), pp. 121-141

17. Non-ableist Cyborg Politics, ICA, 20 August 2019
    Alison Kafer, ‘The Cyborg and the Crip: Critical Encounters’, Feminist, Queer, Crip (Indiana University Press, 2013)
    Further reading:

    Donna Haraway, ‘A Manifesto for Cyborgs: Science, Technology, and Socialist Feminism in the Late Twentieth Century’, Feminism/Postmodernism, ed. Linda J. Nicholson (Routledge, 1990)

16. Water, Stourhead National Trust, 31 July 2019
    Astrida Neimanis, 'Hydrofeminism: Or, On Becoming a Body of Water’, Undutiful Daughters: Mobilizing Future Concepts, Bodies and Subjectivities in Feminist Thought and Practice, eds. Henriette Gunkel, Chrysanthi Nigianni and Fanny Söderbäck (New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012), pp. 85-99

15. The Pharmaco-Pornographic Regime, ICA, 23 July 2019
    Paul B. Preciado, ‘The Pharmaco-Pornographic Regime: Sex, Gender and Subjectivity in the Age of Punk Capitalism’, The Transgender Studies Reader 2, eds. Aren Z. Aizure & Susan Stryker (Routledge, 2013), pp. 266-277
    Further reading:

    Paul B. Preciado, ‘Countersexual Society’, Countersexual Manifesto (Columbia University Press, 2018), pp. 19-40

14. Animals, Stourhead National Trust, 26 June 2019
    Vinciane Despret & Michel Meuret, ‘Cosmoecological Sheep and the Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet’, Environmental Humanities, Vol. 8, Issue 1 (May 2016), pp. 24–36

13. Of Animacy x Perennial Institute: Weed Course, ICA, 25 June 2019
    Amanda Ackermann, ‘Weed Course: Clearing and Preparing the Landscape’, The Book of Feral Flora (Les Figues Press, 2015)
    Further reading:

    Roberto Burle Marx, ‘The Garden as a Form of Art’ (1962), Roberto Burle Marx Lectures: Landscape as Art and Urbanism, ed. Gareth Doherty (Lars Müller Publishers, 2018)

    Lucius Burckhardt, ‘A Critique of the Art of Gardening’ (1983), Lucius Burckhardt Writings: Rethinking Man-made Environments: Politics, Landscape & Design (Springer Vienna Architecture, 2012)

12. Intersectional Assemblages, ICA, 21 May 2019
    Jasbir Puar, ‘“I would rather be a cyborg than a goddess”: Becoming-Intersectional in Assemblage Theory’, philoSOPHIA, Vol. 2, Issue 1, 2012, pp. 49-66

11. A Billion Black Anthropocenes, ICA, 16 April 2019
    Kathryn Yusoff, ‘Golden Spikes and Dubious Origins’, A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None (The University of Minnesota Press, 2018)
    Further reading:

    Kathryn Yusoff, ‘Geology, Race, and Matter’, A Billion Black Anthropocenes or None (The University of Minnesota Press, 2018)

10. Cosmoecological Sheep, ICA, 19 March 2019
    Vinciane Despret & Michel Meuret, ‘Cosmoecological Sheep and the Arts of Living on a Damaged Planet’, Environmental Humanities, Vol. 8, Issue 1 (May 2016), pp. 24–36
    Further reading:

    Vinciane Despret, ‘The Body We Care for: Figures of Anthropo-zoo-genesis’, Body & Society, Vol. 10, Issue 2 – 3 (2004), pp. 111 – 134

9. Representing Nature, ICA, 19 February 2019
    Astrida Neimanis, ‘No Representation without Colonisation? (Or, Nature Represents Itself)’, Somatechnics, Vol. 5, No. 2, Autumn 2015, pp. 135–153

8. Flesh, ICA, 28 March 2018
    Alexander G. Weheliye, ‘Bare Life: The Flesh’, Habeas Viscus: Racializing Assemblages, Biopolitics and Black Feminist Theories of the Human (Duke University Press, 2014)

7. Alterbiopolitics, ICA, 21 February 2018
    María Puig de la Bellacasa, ‘Alterbiopolitics’, Matters of Care: Speculative Ethics in More Than Human Worlds (University of Minnesota Press, 2017)

6. Touch, ICA, 24 January 2018
    Karen Barad, ‘On Touching — The Inhuman That Therefore I am (v1.1)’, Power of Material / Politics of Materiality, eds. Susanne Witzgall and Kerstin Stakemeier (diaphanes, 2014)

5. Blasted Landscapes, ICA, 19 December 2017
    Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, ‘Blasted Landscapes (and the Gentle Arts of Mushroom Picking)’, The Multispecies Salon, ed. Eben Kirksey (Duke University Press, 2014)

4. Posthuman Feminism, ICA, 22 November 2017
    Rosi Braidotti, ‘Four Theses on Posthuman Feminism’, Anthropocene Feminism, ed. Richard Grusin (University of Minnesota Press, 2017)

3. Nonhumans in Political Theory, ICA, 25 October 2017
    Isabelle Stengers, ‘Including Nonhumans in Political Theory: Opening Pandora’s Box?’, Political Matter: Technoscience, Democracy, and Public Life, ed. Bruce Braun (University of Minnesota Press, 2010)
    Further reading:

    Isabelle Stengers, 'Autonomy and the Intrusion of Gaia’, South Atlantic Quarterly, vol. 116, no 2, April 2017

2. Feminist New Materialism & Speculative Realism, ICA, 27 September 2017
    Rebekah Sheldon, ‘Form/Matter/Chora: Object-Oriented Ontology and Feminist New Materialism’, The Nonhuman Turn, ed. Richard Grusin (University of Minnesota Press, 2015)
    Further reading:

    Deboleena Roy and Banu Subramaniam, ‘Matter in the Shadows: Feminist New Materialism and Practices of Colonialism’, Mattering: Feminism, Science, and Materialism, ed. Victoria Pitts-Taylor (New York University Press, 2016)

1. Toxicity, for In Formation, ICA, 4 August 2017
    Mel Y. Chen, ‘Toxic Animacies, Inanimate Affections’ in Queer Inhumanisms, GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, vol. 21, no. 23, June 2015