Walls and human exceptionalism

Judith, Kate ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2021-9830 (2018) Walls and human exceptionalism. In: Space Race Bodies III: Walls, 30 Jun - 01 Jul 2018, University of Otago.


This paper investigates walls as mechanisms for constructing and sustaining human exceptionalism. The excluded other being considered here is non-human. Walls destroy and constrain opportunities for non-humans as assertively as they do for excluded humans. Building walls is hugely environmentally destructive, and walls dramatically impede the movement and fragment the living space of many non-humans. At a more fundamental level, walls create and perpetuate an entire geography based upon the assumption that the ongoing comfort, security and convenience of particular privileged humans justify the reshaping of the world to their advantage and to the exclusion or impediment of almost all others.

Territorial negotiations take many diverse forms; communication, aggression and submission, ritual, cooperation, bargaining, all these are foreclosed by a wall. The power-based territorial claims that walls impose come to be taken as righteous or prior, because they are embedded in the physical landscape itself and confirmed within the landscape of human social and legal conventions. Their radical boundary-staking enables human judgements to focus upon interactions within human society, and to turn away from interconnectedness with what can become construed as a simplified outside. The mangrove communities of Sydney will be invited to contribute their alternative approaches to negotiating boundaries.

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Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Commonwealth Reporting Category E) (Paper)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Files associated with this item cannot be displayed due to copyright restrictions.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Open Access College (1 Jul 2013 - 7 Jun 2020)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Historic - Open Access College (1 Jul 2013 - 7 Jun 2020)
Date Deposited: 08 Oct 2019 07:42
Last Modified: 11 Feb 2020 03:38
Uncontrolled Keywords: walls, human exceptionalism
Fields of Research (2008): 22 Philosophy and Religious Studies > 2203 Philosophy > 220303 Environmental Philosophy
Fields of Research (2020): 50 PHILOSOPHY AND RELIGIOUS STUDIES > 5003 Philosophy > 500304 Environmental philosophy
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/35101

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