Next Article in Journal
Introduction: Analysing Emotion and Theorising Affect
Next Article in Special Issue
Vulnerable Life: Zombies, Global Biopolitics, and the Reproduction of Structural Violence
Previous Article in Journal
Canines in the Classroom: Boccaccio, Dante, and the Visual Arts
Previous Article in Special Issue
Of Pomo Academicus, Reconsidered
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Humanities 2016, 5(3), 69;

Posthuman Ethics, Violence, Creaturely Suffering and the (Other) Animal: Schnurre’s Postwar Animal Stories

College of Arts and Sciences, Classical & Modern Languages & Literatures, Texas Tech University, Box 42071, Lubbock, TX 79409, USA
Academic Editor: Myra Mendible
Received: 1 June 2016 / Revised: 13 August 2016 / Accepted: 17 August 2016 / Published: 19 August 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Race, Politics, and the Humanities in an Age of 'Posts')
Full-Text   |   PDF [240 KB, uploaded 19 August 2016]


The othering of whole groups of people in a biopolitical discourse during the Third Reich has caused many to re-assess ethics that is based on specific categories. Adorno and Horkheimer reckoned with both Enlightenment as well as classical “humanist” discourses to question whether they imply structures that lead to fascism. In the wake of these arguments, classical humanist (or sometimes also called anthropocentric) ethics have also been criticized by philosophers such as Agamben, Derrida, and Wolfe. It is thus time to work on posthuman(ist) ethics that avoids the traps of a narrow human ethics and that is inclusive rather than exclusive. The short stories by postwar German author Wolfdietrich Schnurre, written in the wake of the Holocaust, reckon with a purely human-centered worldview and draw a bleak picture of an anthropocentrically structured and valued world. Under the surface that portrays a speciesist world, Schnurre employs a network of sub-discourses to “cave out” carno-phallogocentric discourses and point towards a different, post-human ethics. This paper examines how anthropocentric discourses of power lead to inhumane violence and how a different approach to the Other, based on empathy and shared vulnerability, might just move us beyond it. View Full-Text
Keywords: animal studies; posthuman ethics; postwar German Literature; violence animal studies; posthuman ethics; postwar German Literature; violence
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Kleinhans, B. Posthuman Ethics, Violence, Creaturely Suffering and the (Other) Animal: Schnurre’s Postwar Animal Stories. Humanities 2016, 5, 69.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Humanities EISSN 2076-0787 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top