The past decades Europe has witnessed a stark increase in the problematization of Islamic female clothing such as headscarves and face-veils. Furthermore the (im)possibility of LGBT-emancipation in a context of multiculturalism has been debated fiercely. This led academia to produce a stream of research on the dynamics between women’s and sexuality issues viz a viz migration, multiculturalism and racism in Europe.

In the same period animal welfare has matured into a political concern that is increasingly being represented by European animal parties on a local or national level, such as in the Netherlands, Germany and Portugal. In more countries still do social movements concerned with animal welfare successfully influence public debates. One of the topics in which the political success of animal welfare is crystalized is ritual slaughter according to Islamic and Jewish rites. Over ten European countries have legally intervened with this practice since the turn of the millennium. Yet, academic interest in studying the ways in which these two political developments may relate remains at large.

This paper addresses this gap in academic literature and asks a fundamental question: how do gender, race and species relate? In answering this question, this paper delves into literature on Europe’s colonial empires to trace the ways in which gender, race and species have historically co-articulated each other. Subsequently contemporary European political developments on gender and animals in a contested multicultural context are critically discussed. Altogether this paper opens up the analytical space to conceive of a dimension of Europe’s current discursive construction that otherwise remains illegible.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationEurope’s Past, Present, and Future: Utopias and Dystopias
Subtitle of host publication27th International Conference of Europeanists
Publication statusUnpublished - 22 Jun 2020

    Research areas

  • gender; sexuality; queer; race; species; animals; animal ethics; Europe

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