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Abstract

In her article "The Systemic Approach, Biosemiotic Theory, and Ecocide in Australia" Iris Ralph summarizes an argument in defense of disciplinarity ("openness from closure") that Cary Wolfe makes in What is Posthumanism? She also comments on an implicit argument that Wendy Wheeler makes in The Whole Creature: Complexity, Biosemiotics and the Evolution of Culture. As Ralph argues, Wheeler's implicit claim is that biosemiotic language, which humans share with other biological beings, connects human animals and nonhuman animals on moral and affective grounds. Ralph summarizes Wolfe's defense of disciplinarity that literary and cultural studies scholars who engage with the "question of the animal" generate claims which complement interrogations of the moral and affective distinctions between human animals and nonhuman animals. Ralph uses Wolfe's and Wheeler's arguments to read Nugi Garimara's Follow the Rabbit-Proof Fence, Robyn Davidson's Tracks, and Xavier Herbert's Capricornia in an ecocritical context.