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Superheroes and Critical Animal Studies: The Heroic Beasts of Total Liberation


Superheroes and Critical Animal Studies explores and puts into dialogue two growing fields of studies, comic studies and critical animal studies. The book’s aim is to create a form of praxis that people can use to actualize many of the values superheroes strive to protect. To this end, contributor chapters are divided into sections on the foundation of superhero representation and how to teach it, criticisms of particular superheroes and how they fall short of truly protecting the planet, and interpretations of specific characters that can be read to produce a positive orientation to the nonhuman world and craft strategies to promote liberation in the real world. Altogether, the book produces a form of scholarship on the media that is both intersectional in scope and tailored to have an impact on the reader beyond theorizing superheroes for theorization’s sake.

Cooking up a Revolution: Food Not Bombs, Homes Not Jails, and Resistance to Gentrification

On Labor Day in 1988 two hundred hungry and homeless people went to Golden Gate Park in search of a hot meal while fifty-four activists from Food Not Bombs, surrounded by riot police, lined up to serve them food. The riot police counted twenty-five served meals, the legal number allowed by city law before breaking permit restrictions, and then began arresting people. The arrests proceeded like an assembly line: an activist would scoop a bowl of food and hand it to a hungry person. A police officer would then handcuff and arrest that activist. Immediately the next activist in line would take up the ladle and be promptly arrested.   By the end of the day 54 people had been arrested for “providing food without a permit.” These arrests were not an aberration but part of a multi-year campaign by the City of San Francisco against radical homeless activists. Why would a liberal city arrest activists helping the homeless? In exploring this question, the book uses the conflict between the city and activists as a unique opportunity to examine the contested nature of urban politics, homelessness, and public space while developing an anarchist alternative to liberal urban politics that is rooted in mutual aid, solidarity, and anti-capitalism.


“Sustainable Colonialism: Tar Sands as Resource Colonialism” Capitalism Nature Socialism (2016) (with Emily Ray)

 “Parks, Permits, and Riot Police: San Francisco Food Not Bombs and AutonomousOccupations of Space,” in New Political Science vol. 37, issue 3 (2015)

Breaking Bread, Sharing Soup, and Smashing the State: Food Not Bombs and Anarchist Critiques of the Neoliberal Charity State,” in Theory in Action vol. 7, no. 4 (2014).

 “Climate First? The Ethical and Political Implications of Pro-Nuclear Policy in Addressing Climate Change,” in Ethics, Policy & Environment vol. 15 no. 1 (March 2012).

“Understanding the Ideology of the Earth Liberation Front” in Green Theory & Praxis: The Journal of Ecopedagogy Volume 4, no.2 (2008).


“Ain’t No Thing Like Me, Except Me: Rocket Raccoon, Cyborg Queerness, and Toxic-Masculinity” in Superheroes and Critical Animal Studies: The Heroic Beasts of Total Liberation. Eds. Joe Leeson- Schatz and Sean Parson (Lexington Press forthcoming

The Politics of Dumpstered Soup: Food Not Bombs and the Limits of Decommodifying Food” for Routledge Handbook of Radical Politics. Eds. Ruth Kinna and Uri Gordon (Routledge forthcoming 2018)

“Our Heroes Need to Wear Ski-Masks: The Animal Man, and the Animal Liberationist Hero in Comics” in Critical Animal Studies and Pedagogy. Eds. Anthony Nocella III (Peter Lang Press forthcoming 2018)

“At War with Civilization: Eco-anarchism and the future of life on this planet.” In Anarchism: A Conceptual Analysis. Eds. Benjamin Franks, Nathan Jun, and Leonard Williams. (Routledge forthcoming 2018)

“Ape Anxiety: Intelligence, Human Supremacy, and Rise and Dawn of the Planet of the Apes” in Screening the Non/human: Critical Animal Studies and Film. Eds. Amber George and Joe Leeson- Schatz. Lexington Press, Summer 2017

“Redefining Radical Environmentalism,” in Oxford Handbook for Environmental Political Theory. Eds. Teena Gabrielson, Cheryl Hall, John M. Meyer, and David Schlosberg. Oxford University Press, Spring 2015 (co-authored with Emily Ray)

“Industrialism is Both the Fabrication Department and the Kill Floor: Total Liberation, Green Anarchism and the Violence of Industrialism,” in Anarchism and Animal Liberation: Essays on Complementary Elements of Total Liberation Eds. Anthony J. Nocella II, Kim Socha, Richard J White, Erika Cudworth. McFarland Books, Spring 2015 (co-authored witMara Pfeifer).

“Insurgency Control: Tools of Repression in the Age of Austerity” in The End of the World as We Know it?: Crisis, Resistance and the Age of Austerity. Eds. Deric Shannon. AK Press, May 2014 (co-authored with Luis Fernandez).

“Total Liberation: Intersectional Politics and Animal Rights” in Defining Critical Animal Studies. Eds. Anthony Nocella II, John Sorenson, Kim Socha, Atsuko Matsouka. Peter Lang Publishing, December 2013 (co-authored with Sarat Collings and Alessandro

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