First Tom Regan Lecture at NC State on September 21

Carol J. Adams, who will deliver the first Tom Regan Lecture (Photo credit: Jo-Anne McArthur)

The first Tom Regan Lecture will be given at NC State University this fall. The University’s Department of Philosophy and Religious Studies is co-sponsoring this lecture with the Culture and Animals Foundation, which initiated the series and will organize future Regan Lectures.

The series honors the work of Tom Regan, who served on the philosophy faculty at NC State for over 34 years, retiring in 2002. An award-winning teacher and a prolific author, Regan published more than 20 books and hundreds of articles. His influence extended far beyond the halls of academia, primarily through his work on animal rights.

Regan’s most famous book, The Case for Animal Rights, was published by the University of California Press in 1983. The book was translated into several languages and had an enormous impact, securing a place for the idea of animal rights on both the philosophical and the public agenda. In December 2009, the Utne Reader named Regan “one of the 50 visionaries who are changing your view of the world.” He died in Raleigh in February 2017 at the age of 78.

The first Tom Regan Lecturer will be Carol J. Adams, an author of many books, who will speak on “Animal Ethics and Contemporary Politics” at 3:00 p.m. on Friday, September 21 in Withers Hall, Room 232A. The lecture, which is open to the public, will be followed by a reception and book-signing in the lobby of Withers Hall.

In her lecture, Adams will argue as follows. Animal philosophy and theory not only decenter the human; they also offer ways to question and challenge white privilege; to question masculine privilege and challenge patriarchy; and to question “American exceptionalism” and challenge xenophobia. It is important to understand the link between animal exploitation and other means of oppression—including Western definitions of the “human” as white and masculine, the role of Western colonialism in promoting meat and dairy, and the interaction between misogyny and the use of animals. The lecture will highlight the insights that arise through a dialogue between engaged animal ethics and the critique of contemporary political attitudes and actions.

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