Layla AbdelRahim is a researcher and author of two books based in Montreal. Her interests lie in epistemology and anthropocentrism, particularly in the ways in which the underlying premises of civilization are reified. She traces the roots of human violence to the ontological premises of domestication in our epistemology. These premises postulate the raison d'être of living and non-living beings in terms of consumption in a hierarchy of food chain thereby centering predation in civilized socio-economic and socio-environmental culture. These premises constitute the foundation of civilized knowledge as it is manifested in science, religion, culture, politics, and art. Her work thus examines the intersections of speciesism, racism, and sexism and the effect of civilized epistemology on the environment. Drawing on palaeontological studies, ethology, and biological anthropology, she challenges the precepts in the narrative of anthropology that constructs the human animal as predator and consumer. Her examination of civilized and wild narratives is relevant to a wide range of disciplines, among which are philosophy of science, evolutionary theory, animal studies, human animal studies (also known as anthropology), sociology, cultural studies, ethics and theology, environmental studies, economics, education, and literary theory.
AbdelRahim is the author of two books, numerous essays, and satire. She gives public talks internationally. Currently, she teaches courses on literature and culture at Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières on a part-time basis. In the past, she worked as an anthropologist in Western and Eastern Europe, a journalist of war and in refugee relief and development in North East Africa. Having travelled and lived on five continents, she is fluent in a variety of languages and cultural contexts.
Areas of Research / Professional Expertise
Epistemology, sociology of ignorance, evolutionary narratives, comparative and interdisciplinary studies, anarchism, Scandinavia, Russian literature and culture, wilderness, critique of civilization, ethology, ecology, anarchist studies, medical anthropology and its intersections with law and criminology, literature, philosophy and anthropology of science, roots of violence, nationalism, war