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Jeffrey Bussolini: Cats Eating Chile Peppers



Cats Eating Chile Peppers

September 28th, 4:15-5:30

Room 5307 | The CUNY Graduate Center
365 Fifth Avenue, New York, NY 10016

Free and open to the public

Part of the Multispecies Salon Wednesday Speaker Series


According to a branch of comparative psychology, mammals other than humans never eat spicy chile peppers due to the ‘constrained risk’ and ‘benign masochism’ demonstrated only by humans.  This talk bears on research at the Center for Feline Studies’ Feline Interaction Laboratory (a site for the non-invasive study of the feline lifeworld, feline-feline interactions, and feline-human interactions) in which cats have been regularly observed selecting and seeking out spicy chiles to eat.  This activity also discloses an important instance of tool use, as the cats learned to open a refrigerator and a freezer to access chiles.

Jeffrey Bussolini is Associate Professor of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work at the College of Staten Island. His current work deals with the strange and sometimes chilling was there are parallels between nuclear physics and the worldview of the Marquis de Sade, using the tools of feminist and philosophical analysis to look at physics as a discourse and a body of knowledge in which corporeality is treated as sheerly material and physical. Select publications include, The Culture of National Security Science: Los Alamos and Wen Ho Lee (Duke, 2011), “Los Alamos as Laboratory for Domestic Security Measures” (Geopolitics, 2011), and “Ongoing Founding Events in the Work of Carl Schmitt and Giorgio Agamben” (Telos, 2011).

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