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Colonial Animality: Canadian Colonialism and the Human-Animal Relationship

By Azeezah Kanji

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Located at the juncture of critical animal studies and decolonial theory, this analysis contemplates the connections and entanglements between settler colonialism and animality in Canadian constitutional discourse. How are coloniality and anthropocentricism — and the borders they draw between humanity, infra-humanity, and non-humanity — (re)produced with and through one another in Canadian constitutional jurisprudence and discourse? The very concepts used to understand and dispute the legal status of non-human animals (property and personhood, humanity and citizenship, rights and sovereignty) are shot through with the coloniality of their genealogies (see, for example, Anghie 2007; Isin 2012). Canadian constitutional law and legal discourse — the juridical warp and woof of the settler colonial state — therefore serves as one productive site for investigating the underexplored relationship between settler colonialism and animality, and for thinking through the mutual salience of decolonial and animal liberation projects.


Mason N McLary

HABRI Central

Date 2017
Publication Title Critical Epistemologies of Global Politics
Pages 16
ISBN/ISSN 978-1-910814-23-9
Publisher E-International Relations Publishing
Location of Publication Bristol, England
Language English
Cite this work

Researchers should cite this work as follows:

  • Azeezah Kanji (2017), "Colonial Animality: Canadian Colonialism and the Human-Animal Relationship,"

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  1. Animal-assisted activities
  2. Animal roles
  3. Animals in culture
  4. Animal welfare
  5. Canada
  6. Citizenship
  7. colonizing
  8. Humanity
  9. Personhood
  10. Pets and companion animals
  11. Physical environment
  12. properties
  13. rights
  14. Service animals
  15. Social Environments
  16. Wild animals
  17. Working animals