Join us as we celebrate the release of Nathan Snaza’s nonfiction work, Animate Literacies: Literature, Affect, and the Politics of Humanism. Free & open to the public.
About the book: In Animate Literacies Nathan Snaza proposes a new theory of literature and literacy in which he outlines how literacy is both constitutive of the social and used as a means to define the human. Weaving new materialism with feminist, queer, and decolonial thought, Snaza theorizes literacy as a contact zone in which humans, nonhuman animals, and nonvital objects such as chairs and paper all become active participants. In readings of classic literature by Kate Chopin, Frederick Douglass, James Joyce, Toni Morrison, Mary Shelley, and others, Snaza emphasizes the key roles that affect and sensory experiences play in literacy. Snaza upends common conceptions of literacy and its relation to print media, showing instead how such understandings reinforce dehumanizations linked to dominant imperialist, heterosexist, and capitalist definitions of the human. The path toward disrupting such exclusionary, humanist frameworks, Snaza contends, lies in formulating alternative practices of literacy and literary study that escape disciplined knowledge production.
“Challenging us to discover, create, and practice modes of literacy that depart from the conventional paths that have disciplined us, Nathan Snaza puts forth significant and bracing provocations about the relationship between reading and the production of Man. In his brilliant formulation, literacy is no longer exclusively human—it happens within a thick web of animating entities that affect and bewilder. An outstanding work.” — Stacy Alaimo, author of Exposed: Environmental Politics and Pleasures in Posthuman Times
“Offering stimulating readings of familiar literary texts, Nathan Snaza recasts literacy within a field of material objects and conditions by weaving new materialism together with postcolonial and posthumanist thought into meditations on literacies within and beyond the human.” — Carla Freccero, author of Queer/Early/Modern