New Article Published at ‘Gender, Place & Culture’

Usually, I stick with the non-academic subjects on the blog, but occasionally I like to share the academic work I’m doing. In addition to working on the dissertation, I’ve also been working on some publishing projects: a few articles and two different edited book projects. Recently, an article of mine just came out at the feminist geography journal, Gender, Place and Culture.

Sexualized Violence and the Gendered Commodification of the Animal Body in Pacific Northwest US Dairy Production, Kathryn Gillespie

ABSTRACT: This article draws on a case study of bovine life in the US dairy industry to observe the power relations and violent networks of commodification involved. I use the terms gendered commodification and sexualized violence to understand the lives of animals in the industry and the discourses that are employed to reproduce its practices. Focusing on sex and gender, concepts which have long been classic in feminist geography, this article explores the sexually violent commodification of both female and male animals in dairy production. In addition to the ways in which both are exploited for their productive and reproductive capacities, male animals are also discursively conceptualized as perpetrators of the violence against the females. This article engages with geographies of the body and animal geographies in order to extend geographies of the body to other-than-human bodies and in order to feature the body more prevalently in animal geographies. This attention to the animal body ultimately reveals the pervasiveness of sexual violence and the consequences of gendered commodification for both nonhuman and human others. 

Generally, it is difficult for those without access to an academic library account to access articles from subscription-based academic journals. I was delighted when I found out that I have 50 free e-prints from the journal to share with anyone who wants them. If you click this link, you should be able to download and access the full article. If the e-prints are already used up when you try it, feel free to email me:  I’d love to hear your thoughts if you check it out.

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  1. Thank you for posting this on Serenity in the Storm. It is a powerful and beautifully written article that helps us to understand just how harsh our impact is on the earth and its creatures.

    Congratulations on the publication of this fine article in the very prestigious “Gender, Place and Culture” Journal!

  2. Oh Katie! This is fantastic! Congratulations!!! I’ve downloaded my copy and – at long last – think I might actually be able to read an academic article now. I am thrilled that yours will be my first!! Here’s to hoping we can get together soon.


    1. Hi love! Thanks so much for downloading it! I hope the reading goes smoothly. 🙂 And yes — let’s get together! Are you around for the holidays?

  3. Hello Katie,
    i have just finished reading your essay wanted to tell you that it brought about many emotions in the time it took to read it. It is an extremely eloquently written piece that cannot fail to bring tears, anger, sadness and, for my part, utter shock at how we as humans even try to sexualise Cows and Bulls.(i shouldn’t be so shocked)
    As a mother, i cannot find the words to describe the harrowing pain and sadness that these beautiful animals must suffer time and time again at the hands of a so called intelligent species. It brings to mind all the times over the course of history that humans have inflicted suffering onto those they fell are ‘less’ something or other to themselves.
    I believe that we need to be optimists in a world that sometimes feels so far gone in the wrong direction. Intelligently written papers, such as yours, need to be spread far and wide. I admire you wholeheartedly for being able to sit and observe all you clearly did, for that cannot have been easy.
    As has always been the way, since the beginning of time, things evolve. Sometimes annoyingly slowly, and sometimes in the wrong direction. But I strongly believe that all the work of people that see the ‘light’ on this issue will come to light for humanity as a whole one day.
    Keep up the great work,

    1. Hi Helen — Thanks so much for reading the article and for commenting here! Your words mean a lot to me. I too was shocked when I encountered some of these industry materials. I agree with you that we have to remain hopeful that the world can become a less violent, less exploitative place for all its inhabitants (and the planet itself). As you say, things do change — and sometimes for the better! 🙂 In solidarity – Katie

  4. Bravo for the courage and talent it took to speak for these animals whose plight is so widely unknown. May these scholarly studies lay the foundation for more popular retellings of this important story. This is the very best use of your education .

    1. Thanks, PA! And thanks so much for your help with the paper. I agree that education should be used in service of working to make the world a more just place for all its creatures. I’m so grateful to have the opportunity to make this my life.

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