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In Search of Alternative Biopolitics. Anti-Bullfighting, Animality and the Environment in Contemporary Spain

In Search of Alternative Biopolitics Anti-Bullfighting, Animality and the Environment in Contemporary Spain argues that the concepts structuring human/animal relations in Spain and political discourses that make use of them are mediating debates on tradition and change, war and peace, gender, environment and science. These concepts where humanity is opposed to animality, due to the historical significance of bullfighting are in particular tension in Spain. In the Anthropocene world destroyed by humans, the concept of humanity, as privileged over everything non-human, needs to be urgently revised.

This book researches the history of alternative thought in Spanish culture, which subverts and transforms the hegemonic discourses based on human (masculine bullfighting) superiority. While the hegemonic rhetoric conceptualizes humanity as being opposed to nature and animality, the alternative visions in Spain, significantly connected to anti-bullfighting and environmentalism, focus on the interconnectivity of human and non-human realms.

The book begins with analyses of writings and films by marginal intellectuals, such as Mariano José de Larra, Eugenio Noel, Luis Buñuel and Luis Martín-Santos, concerned about violence against animals as a model for social and political dynamics. It analyzes the synergy of press debates on bullfighting and War on Terror (2004-11), and the Animal Rights Movement influence on post-Francoist culture. It traces the anxiety of the environmental crisis in the disquieting realism of recent films and fiction.

The final chapter connects the debates on human/animal relations to the debates on GMOs and on the role of technology in overcoming the environmental crisis, where human desire to master and control the non-human again returns.


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You can download and read the introduction to the book here.

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