What Comes After Entanglement?: Activism, Anthropocentrism, and an Ethics of Exclusion

Eva Haifa Giraud

Language: English

Published: Oct 17, 2019


By foregrounding the ways that human existence is bound together with the lives of other entities, contemporary cultural theorists have sought to move beyond an anthropocentric worldview. Yet as Eva Haifa Giraud contends in What Comes after Entanglement? , for all their conceptual power in implicating humans in ecologically damaging practices, these theories can undermine scope for political action. Drawing inspiration from activist projects between the 1980s and the present that range from anticapitalist media experiments and vegan food activism to social media campaigns against animal research, Giraud explores possibilities for action while fleshing out the tensions between theory and practice. Rather than an activist ethics based solely on relationality and entanglement, Giraud calls for what she describes as an ethics of exclusion, which would attend to the entities, practices, and ways of being that are foreclosed when other entangled realities are realized. Such an ethics of exclusion emphasizes foreclosures in the context of human entanglement in order to foster the conditions for people to create meaningful political change.


What Comes after Entanglement? is an exciting and novel book. It is unique in its combination of innovative theoretical explorations of activism and social change with suggestions for practical political interventions. Crucially, Eva Haifa Giraud explores the messy practicalities of activism. The findings and significance of her book go far beyond the case study focus on a broad variety of animal activism since the 1980s, which weaves together different times and places in really interesting ways.” -- Jenny Pickerill, author of ― Cyberprotest: Environmental Activism Online

“Eva Haifa Giraud does not accept relationality theory without question. The force of her work is her seeing theory as in need of a thinking-through that does not simply apply it to situations, but instead sees the situated work of activism as rendering our notion of theory and relationality in a more nuanced fashion. I don't know of any other text that follows through on the activist potentials in the theories Giraud draws from as much as this one does. An impressive work.” -- Claire Colebrook, author of ― Death of the PostHuman: Essays on Extinction

“When reading this stimulating text, I wished that I could have joined Giraud in kitchen table discussions as she wrestled with this wealth of material. Overall, this is a really well-structured text which builds its argument iteratively and holds in tension the productive ambivalence that Giraud illuminates.”

-- Joan Haran ― BioSocieties Published On: 2020-03-01

“Eva Haifa Giraud’s book, What Comes after Entanglement? , offers what she calls a ‘sympathetic critique’ of ‘more than human, relational ethics.’ This critique is aimed at the new materialisms and the broader turn to relational ontology…. Giraud’s emphasis on the ethics of exclusion is something to which scholars of many kinds might well attend.” -- Samuel Diener ― Year’s Work in Critical and Cultural Theory Published On: 2020-06-18

“Eva Haifa Giraud’s book is an important contribution to recent moves within environmental political theory to expand environmental politics to the more-than-human. In particular, it addresses relevant questions of politics in non-anthropocentric environmental theory…. The book will be valuable to scholars of science and technology studies, ecofeminism, new materialism, media and communication studies, and related fields. Scholars focusing on environmental activism and campaigning will find Giraud’s attention to the conceptual significance of everyday practical problems inspiring, specifically the way she teases out some of the barriers to translating theory into practice and the context-specific tactics for negotiating these barriers.” -- Magdalena S. Rodekirchen ― Environmental Politics Published On: 2020-12-11

What Comes After Entanglement? offers media scholars an insightful analysis of what materialist theory is doing on the ground and helps to clarify the stakes of posthumanism, for human and nonhuman animals alike.... Giraud is a well-balanced critic who pays attention to representation and infrastructure, theory and practice.” -- Cynthia Rosenfeld ― Critical Studies in Media Communication Published On: 2021-01-18 --This text refers to the paperback edition.

About the Author

Eva Haifa Giraud is Lecturer in Media at Keele University (United Kingdom). --This text refers to the paperback edition.