Animals and Animality Across the Humanities and Social Sciences: Interdisciplinary Graduate Conference, June 26-27, 2010

Event Date: Jun 26 2010 – Jun 27 2010
Event Website: Event Webpage
City: Kingston, ON
Country: Canada

Queen’s University: Keynote: Carol Adams

The emergent field of animal and animality studies is rapidly being articulated across scholarly boundaries. We invite graduate students to enter this growing conversation and approach the topic from perspectives reflecting the broad (inter)disciplinarity of this field. Discussions will use critical animal studies as a conceptual lens in order to investigate issues including the boundaries between self and Other, agency and biological drive, and reason and non-reason; the codes that permeate our conceptions of non-human animals; and the implications of troubling and/or making porous the human/animal divide. Is understanding human beings as embodied subjects ontologically bound to our relationship to non-human animals? In what ways is animal wellbeing crucially implicated in how we think ourselves into and against animals? As part of these discussions, we welcome investigations into the ways that (as Val Plumwood contends) animals, nature, and racial, colonial, and gendered Others function, now and historically, as overlapping sites of difference. We also invite considerations of the relationship between the conceptual economy that posits animality as an exploitable trope and forms of Othering that render animals as salable things. In approaching these topics, we encourage participants to consider how animal and animality studies has impacted other theoretical lenses, including critical race theory and feminist, postcolonial, and ecocritical/environmental studies, as well as the attendant politics of our disciplinary and interdisciplinary approaches to the field.

Topics may include, but are by no means limited to:

Thinking with animals / intro-species boundary disruption
Becoming animals and biocentric ethics
The boundary between domestic and wild, sentiment and terror
Making animals ‘matter’ and the role of affect
Animal poetry and ecopoetics
Animals and the nation in the nineteenth century and beyond
Animals and spectacle (both alive and dead)
Urban and wild animals and the politics of space
Animal geographies and environmental histories
Animals and transnational ecologies

Speciesm and racism
Animals and desire / animality and sexuality
Vegetarianism and the politics of meat
Animals in language / symbolic animals

The discourses and iconography of animals in various cultural forms
The uses of animals in war and torture
Animal studies now and its future directions

The deadline for submissions (October 1st) has passed but do contact conference organizers if you would like to attend: jaime.j.s.denike@queensu.ca.

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