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Human-Animal Studies Newsletter
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
This is the final newsletter from me as I pass the reigns over to Gala Argent, who will be taking over from here on out. Please stay in touch (I can always be reached at email@example.com), please welcome Gala to ASI, and thank you for all of your work in the field, and for your support!
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
Thank you, Margo, and thanks for all you have done, and I imagine will continue to do, for ASI!
As a long-time Human Animal Studies scholar, I’m incredibly excited to be joining the Animal & Society Institute’s team. By way of introduction, I’m a theoretical archaeologist and communication studies scholar who uses an interdisciplinary Human Animal Studies approach to study human-nonhuman animal intersections. I’m also a life-long equestrienne and former horse breeder, so it should be no surprise that I research and publish on the interpersonal, intersocial and intercultural relationships between humans and horses. I’m particularly interested in the ways these connections can be seen to co-create and replicate mutually interdependent selves, identities and practices within various societies, past and present.
I hold a PhD in Archaeology from the University of Leicester and MA and BA degrees in Communication Studies, which I taught for several decades before switching academic focus. I currently teach (online) Cultural Anthropology at Sacramento City College, and a course through the Animal Studies major at Eastern Kentucky University—also no surprise—“Horse.”
My husband and I share our social world with, from large to small, three horses, Bud, Shen and Della, two dogs, Boris and Orion, and two small parrots, Paulie and Okota.
I can be reached at
. Please keep me apprised of what’s going on in your HAS worlds, and don’t hesitate to contact me with comments, questions or concerns!
ASI is excited to announce the publication of the 23rd title in the Brill Human-Animal Studies book series:
Cognitive Kin, Moral Strangers? Linking Animal Cognition, Animal Ethics & Animal Welfare
Cognitive Kin, Moral Strangers?
, Judith Benz-Schwarzburg reveals the scope and relevance of cognitive kinship between humans and non-human animals. She presents a wide range of empirical studies on culture, language and theory of mind in animals and then leads us to ask why such complex socio-cognitive abilities in animals matter.
We have just completed airing Season 2 of the Defining HAS video series. For the latest videos, including those by Cynthia Chandler and Greta Gaard, please
visit this link!
We have so many exciting new videos planned for Season 3, to air in early 2020, so please keep tuned!
The Animals & Society Institute and the Center for Advanced Study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign invite applications for the fourth annual Human-Animal Studies Summer Institute program for advanced graduate students and early career scholars pursuing research in Human-Animal Studies. This interdisciplinary program, inaugurated in 2017, is focused on graduate students and those in the first few years post-Ph.D. or other terminal degrees like M.F.A., M.S.W., D.V.M., or J.D., and will enable 20-30 participants to work on their dissertations or publications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign hosted by the Center for Advanced Study, for one intensive week. The 2020 Institute will take place from
July 12-19, 2020, inclusive
. The Institute is designed to support participants’ individual research in Human-Animal Studies as well as to promote interdisciplinary exchange. The program will offer a shared space of critical inquiry that brings the participants’ work-in-progress to the attention of a network of influential HAS scholars and provides the participants with the guidance and feedback to develop their work. At the heart of the program are daily morning seminars devoted to discussion of participants’ work, followed by afternoon plenary lectures by distinguished speakers. These will be complemented by special workshops and field trips to on- and off-campus locations which highlight different aspects of the human-animal relationship. Participants should expect a stimulating intellectual environment reflecting a diversity of approaches, projects, disciplinary backgrounds, and ethical positions on animal issues. All fellows must be in continuous residence for the duration of the program. This year, we are excited to announce the following guest faculty:
- May Berenbaum, Professor of Entomology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
- Amy Fitzgerald, Associate Professor of Sociology, Anthropology and Criminology, University of Windsor
- Maria Lux, Assistant Professor of Art, Whitman College
- Chris Green, Executive Director of the Animal Law & Policy Program, Harvard University
- Teresa Mangum, Professor of Gender, Women’s, and Sexuality Studies, and Director of the Obermann Center for Advanced Studies, University of Iowa
- Lindsay Marshall, 2019-2020 Chancellor’s Postdoctoral Fellow, American Indian Studies, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
- Robert Mitchell, Professor of Psychology, Chair and Founder of Animal Studies Program, Eastern Kentucky University
- Evan Mwangi, Associate Professor of English and Comparative Literature, Northwestern University
- Kari Weil, University Professor and Director of the College of Letters, Wesleyan University
to find more information on how to apply.
ASI is putting out a call for a Policy Paper which seeks to answer the question: What is the role of social media in companion animal abuse? Scholars in communication, social psychology, political policy, social movement studies, sociology, among others, might find the topic within their purview. It would be most helpful if the question were addressed in relation to at least two specific and current policy and practice issues -- For examples, puppy mills, tethering, breed-specific legislation. We are limiting the topic to human-canine relations as there are currently several issues on the public agenda pertaining to them. Tracking social media related to these issues could include data on conversion (clicks and likes). Analytics evidencing both degree of education/informativeness and activation also could be included. What actions were taken as a result of the social media exposure? What organizations and campaigns are involved; what is the nature of their use of social media (e.g. petition)? Note that there are animal advocacy organizations that take different positions on some of these issues (for example, the question of the inherent nature of “pit-bulls.” Also, of course, some stakeholders use social media to support positions that, arguably, implicitly support animal abuse. ASI is offering a modest honorarium of $500-$1,000 for a scholar selected to take on this project that can be a literature review of existing data and/or gathering additional data. The primary product would be a policy paper and infographic summary that would be circulated electronically to policy-makers, regulators, animal advocacy organizations, as well as the general public. If you are interested, send a brief preliminary proposal and a current CV to
Funding and Job Opportunities
The Animal Legal Defense Fund is seeking a new
Animal Law Program Director
. The director of the Animal Law Program (ALP) is responsible for developing, implementing, and managing program goals that will advance animal law education and scholarship consistent with ALDF’s overarching organizational strategy and business plan. Additionally, the director is responsible for overseeing ALDF’s collaboration with the Center for Animal Law Studies (CALS) at Lewis & Clark College; for identifying additional collaborative opportunities with other universities and non-ALDF organizations; and for overseeing outreach and marketing of ALP as the “credible legal expert” in the animal law field. The director is also responsible for managing and leading the staff which comprise the Animal Law Program, and for ensuring the strategic objectives and tactical goals of the Animal Law Program are achieved on schedule and within budget. Furthermore, the director is responsible for working closely with the Executive Director, the Chief Programs Officer and other ALDF Program Directors as a member of the Leadership Team, as well as for facilitating and developing donor relationships with key grantors who support or are interested in supporting ALP and ALDF. Finally, the director is responsible, along with other members of the ALDF Leadership Team, for managing the day-to-day operations of ALDF within the defined strategic and financial envelope established by the ALDF strategic plan, the ALDF business plan, and the ALDF budget.
Find out more here!
UCLA School of Law Animal Law and Policy Small Grants Program
is pleased to announce that the application submission period is open now and closes at midnight on
. Please forward this email to researchers or academic research departments you think may have interest in this opportunity. This Program is designed to support legal and non-legal empirical scholarship to advance animal law and policy reform. To learn more about the Program, including previously funded projects,
please use this link
. Applications are welcome from any field as long as the potential application of the research to animal law and policy reform is clear. We have a particular interest in fields such as behavioral economics, psychology, including moral psychology, sociology, philosophy, economics, and other social sciences. We value both qualitative and quantitative research, and priority is given to proposals with well-crafted research methodologies. In addition, we are especially interested in empirical research applicable to legal reform focused on animals currently underrepresented in legal animal advocacy, such as animals used in experimentation, animals harmed through pest control or “nuisance wildlife management” activities, and dogs at risk of being classified as “dangerous.” Please be aware that we do not fund any type of research on live animals, and we cannot provide funding to scholars based at institutions outside the United States. We are open to considering collaborative projects with non-U.S.-based scholars, so long as the principal investigator is based at a U.S. institution of higher education throughout the funding period. Supervising professors of graduate student applicants must agree to serve as co-principal investigators. Please email any questions to Dr. Taimie Bryant at
on the email.
Dr. Jeffrey Stevens, director of the Canine Cognition and Human Interaction Lab at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, is recruiting a
PhD student to study human-animal interaction
. Projects investigate the effects of interacting with dogs on human cognition and emotion. Previous experience with HAI is preferred. For more information, contact Dr. Stevens at
. The deadline for applications is
Harvard Law School’s
Animal Law & Policy Program
is now accepting
applications for the 2020-21 Academic Year. The deadline to submit applications is
January 15, 2020
. The Animal Law & Policy Visiting Fellowships provide opportunities for outstanding scholars from a range of disciplines and legal practitioners to spend from three months to one academic year undertaking research, writing, and scholarly engagement on academic projects in the field of animal law and policy. Fellows devote their time to scholarly activities in furtherance of their research agendas and to contributing to the community of the Animal Law & Policy Program. Fellows will be expected to participate in Program activities, contribute to the intellectual life of the Program, and are encouraged to organize one or more academic events related to their fellowship project. Fellows also have the opportunity to mentor students and contribute to the Animal Law & Policy Program’s broader presence. Fellows have access to a wide range of resources offered by Harvard University, are provided office space at HLS, and receive a monthly stipend in an amount consistent with other Fellowship programs at HLS. We welcome applicants with a J.D., LL.M., S.J.D., Ph.D. or other comparable degree. We also welcome applicants from all disciplinary backgrounds, including the sciences, social sciences, and humanities, provided that the applicant’s research agenda relates to animal law and policy. Applicants will be evaluated by the quality and significance of their research proposals, and by their record of academic and professional achievement. For more information on Animal Law & Policy Visiting Fellowships and the application process, click
Call for Papers: Emerging Scholars Workshop in Law, Animals and Society
May 26-27, 2020, The University of British Columbia-Okanagan (UBCO), Kelowna, British Columbia
Animals & Society Research Initiative
at the University of Victoria is delighted to invite submissions for its Emerging Scholars Workshop in Law, Animals, and Society from law students, graduate students, and early-career scholars focused on socio-legal analyses aimed at producing positive interventions for animals in law and society. The Workshop is intended to be a premier socio-legal and critical animal forum where emerging scholars can receive close attention to their animal-centered work and benefit from productive feedback in view of publication from experienced scholars in the field. The Workshop is also designed to be a forum to enable participants to engage closely with the work of their peers and interact with senior scholars in a smaller setting. It is an event aimed at nurturing the next generation of socio-legal scholars and scholarship in animal rights, law, and policy through inspiring conversations and connections and generating scholarly community.
We warmly invite applications from law students, graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and other early-career scholars in the first three years of their first academic faculty appointment (not counting formal leaves) to submit written drafts of socio-legal works-in progress that apply an anti-anthropocentric or animal-centered lens to considerations of law, policy, and social problems implicating questions of interspecies relations. Participants from all disciplines and both traditional academic papers and creative research outputs are welcome. Submissions from scholars from socially marginalized backgrounds, those engaging a critical animal studies lens, and works focused on concrete legal and policy initiatives, are particularly welcome. The Workshop will take place at UBC-Okanagan immediately before the Inaugural Conference of the North American Association for Critical Animal Studies. Approximately 10 to 12 participants will be selected with 45 minutes dedicated to the discussion of each participant’s work-in-progress. Participants will have up to 5 minutes to situate their work-in-progress within their larger areas of research and then the faculty discussant will provide constructive feedback over the next 10 minutes; the conversation will then be opened to the entire group to give comments to the author for the remaining half hour. Senior discussants, as well as all other participants at each session, will have read/reviewed the paper/creative research output in advance. At the closing lunch on the second day, career mentoring sessions will be held in small breakout groups with senior discussants to provide an opportunity to discuss research, publication, knowledge sharing, and career advice.
For those without other sources of funding, travel and accommodation costs of up to CDN$1200 for workshop participants traveling from Canada and the United States, and CDN $1600 for workshop participants travelling from other countries, will be reimbursed after the Workshop upon submission of original receipts in hard copy. More details regarding allowable travel expenses and reimbursement procedures will be sent to confirmed participants.
Please send: 1) a 2-page CV; 2) an abstract of or introduction to the paper or creative output (of 250 to 500 words) which should specify the research problem you are addressing, your thesis/argument, main theoretical frameworks, and methodology; and 3) a brief statement of intent as to why you wish to participate in the Workshop (of 200 to 350 words) by
January 2, 2020
, midnight, Pacific Standard Time to Holly Cecil at
using the Subject Line “Emerging Scholars Workshop – Your Name”. Please send all three application elements in one PDF file labelled as follows: (Your first and last name Emerging Scholars Workshop Application). Questions may be directed to Professor and Lansdowne Chair Maneesha Deckha, Faculty of Law, University of Victoria at
or (250) 721-8175.
Following are some of the books coming out that we are excited about!
Benz-Schwarzburg, J. (2019).
Cognitive Kin, Moral Strangers? Linking Animal Cognition, Animal Ethics & Animal Welfare
Cherry, E. (2019).
For the Birds: Protecting Wildlife through the Naturalist Gaze
. Rutgers University Press.
Delahaye, P. (2019).
A Semiotic Methodology for Animal Studies
. Springer, Cham.
Dhont, K., & Hodson, G. (Eds.). (2019).
Why we love and exploit animals: Bridging insights from academia and advocacy
Donald, D. (2019).
Women against cruelty: Protection of animals in nineteenth-century Britain
. Manchester University Press.
Giraud, E. H. (2019).
What Comes after Entanglement?: Activism, Anthropocentrism, and an Ethics of Exclusion
. Duke University Press.
Khapaeva, D. (Ed.). (2019).
Man-Eating Monsters: Anthropocentrism and Popular Culture
. Emerald Group Publishing.
Ko, A. (2019).
Racism as Zoological Witchcraft: A Guide to Getting Out
. Lantern Books.
Kowner, R., Bar-Oz, G., Biran, M., Shahar, M., & Shelach-Lavi, G. (2019).
Animals and Human Society in Asia Historical, Cultural and Ethical Perspectives
Lennard, D. (2019).
Brute Force: Animal Horror Movies
. SUNY Press.
Nguyen, H. (2019).
Tongue-Tied: Breaking the Language Barrier to Animal Liberation
. Lantern Books.
Sorenson, J. and A. Matsuoka (Eds). (2019).
Dog's Best Friend?: Rethinking Canid-Human Relations
. McGill-Queens University Press.
Trzak, A., Ed. (2019). T
eaching Liberation: Essays on Social Justice, Animals, Veganism, and Education.
Vinci, T. M. (2019).
Ghost, Android, Animal: Trauma and Literature Beyond the Human
Ward, E. Oven, A., and Bethencourt, R. (2019).
The Clean Pet Food Revolution: How Better Pet Food Will Change the World.
HoST - Journal of History of Science and Technology
has a new special issue called
Animals, Science and Technology: multispecies histories of scientific and sociotechnical knowledge-practices
, edited by Richie Nimmo and featuring articles by Amanda Rees, Robert Kirk, Maisie Tomlinson, Sainath Suryanarayanan, and Richie Nimmo.
Find it here.
Call for Papers: Special Issue of
Monash Bioethics Review
on “Moral Duties to Novel Beings”
Guest Edited by: Julian Koplin (University of Melbourne) and Christopher Gyngell (Murdoch Children’s Research Institute)
Scientific advances are making it possible to create new kinds of beings. Organisms that contain both human and animal cells (human-animal chimeras) have been created to model human disease, and might be used in the future to generate human organs for transplant. Human brain organoids (which resemble miniature in vitro human brains) are now used to study brain development and neurodegenerative disorders. Genome editing has been used to create monkeys with ‘humanised’ brains, revealing new insights into the genetics of human cognition. Synthetic embryos formed from stem cells are being used to study early human development. The brains of dead animals have been partially “revived” hours after the animal was slaughtered, potentially paving the way for brain resuscitation in humans. These strands of research are helping further scientific discovery, but they also pose imminent ethical questions. For example: Does a synthetic embryo that is functionally equivalent to a human embryo have the same moral status? How complex does a brain organoid need to become before we have moral obligations toward it? How does ‘humanising’ a monkey’s brain affect its moral standing? This Special Issue aims to investigate these and other questions raised by the creation of novel kinds of beings. This Special Issue is planned for publication in the second half of 2020. Individual articles will be processed for advanced publication immediately upon acceptance. We are seeking papers between 4,000 and 10,000 words. When submitting online (via the journal website below), please be sure to indicate that your submission is intended for this Special Issue on Moral Duties to Novel Beings. For additional submission and formatting requirements, please see Instructions for Authors available via the
Monash Bioethics Review website
. If you have any questions or wish to discuss proposals and/or abstracts, please write to
Are you going to a conference this year? If so, we would love your help with distributing ASI flyers to promote our human-animal studies programs! If you’d like to help, please email
. Thank you!
Animaterialities: The Material Culture of Animals (including Humans): Sixteenth Material Culture Symposium for Emerging Scholars.
April 24-25, 2020, University of Delaware.
Critical Animal Studies in an Age of Mass Extinction: The Inaugural Conference of the North American Association for Critical Animal Studies (NAACAS).
May 27-29, 2020, University of British Columbia Okanagan.
Calls for Papers: Conferences
The theme for ISAZ 2020 is ‘One Health, One Welfare: Wellbeing for all in human-animal interactions’. We invite you to submit an abstract for consideration for ISAZ 2020. We are looking for three types of submission:
1. There will be opportunities for both standard oral presentations and posters, in the form of 1) a research abstract or 2) a critical review.
2. There are also opportunities to submit ideas for an Anthrozoology ‘Hot topics’ discussion; these will take the format of two panelists and a chair, to give a ‘for’ and ‘against’ argument over a hot topic for debate in anthrozoology, and then open up to the audience for discussion. Chosen ‘hot topics’ will be given a 20-30 minute presentation within the conference program.
3. Finally, there is an opportunity to submit ideas for other panels or workshops to be included in the conference.
Abstract submissions regarding any aspect of anthrozoology will be considered. ISAZ welcomes scholarly presentations from the arts & humanities as well as from social, medical, and veterinary sciences. Please also identify clearly whether your research uses quantitative or qualitative methods (if appropriate). Full submission guidelines can be downloaded
The call for abstracts will close on
February 3, 2020
Vegetarian Epiphanies: From Realization to Changing Eating Habits: Joint International and Interdisciplinary Conference. April 16-17, 2020, Université de Rennes 1, Université Rennes 2, France; May 28-29, 2020, University of California, Santa Barbara, USA
The Research Team Anglophonie: Communautés et Écritures at Université Rennes 2, the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, the Research Team Centre de Recherche en Économie et Management, Université de Rennes 1, and the University of California, Santa Barbara will host a conference entitled "Vegetarian Epiphanies: From Realization to Changing Eating Habits" in April (Rennes) and May 2020 (Santa Barbara). Understood in a secular sense, "epiphany" refers to a moment of powerful insight that brings new understanding—flash of revelation with lasting consequences. The term can aptly describe some experiences of vegetarian awakening. "Epiphanies" of this sort seem to have multiplied in Western countries in recent years, as exemplified by French Veggie Pride, Paul McCartney's British Meat Free Monday, the American documentaries Earthlings and Cowspiracy, and in the ever-expanding range of plant-based meat alternatives found in Western supermarkets. Our joint conference aims to investigate this phenomenon in an academic setting. Why is it more common now to eliminate animal flesh (vegetarianism), to keep any animal products from one’s diet (dietary veganism), or to prohibit the use of any animal products for food, clothing, or any other purpose (ethical veganism)?
In anticipation of this French and American conference, we encourage various disciplines especially in the humanities and social sciences, to share, compare, and contrast their perspectives (e.g. anthropology, cultural studies, economics, animal and critical animal studies, history, geography, literature, philosophy, psychology, sociology, etc.). Speakers are welcome to deliver their presentations in English or in French.
Proposals for papers should be approximately 250 words and be submitted before
on this website
'Violence' will take place at the University of Strathclyde, Glasgow on 24 and 25 April, with confirmed plenary speakers, Miranda Lowe (Natural History Museum, London), Dinesh Wadiwel (University of Sydney) and Susan Richardson (the BASN poet-in-residence). If you are interested in giving a paper addressing the topic ‘Violence’ from whatever disciplinary perspective please submit your title, with an abstract of no more than 200 words and a brief biography (also of no more than 200 words). These should be included within your email – i.e. not as attachments. Please send them to
. The deadline for abstracts is
January 10, 2020
. Presentations will be 20 minutes long and we hope to include work by individuals at different career stages. Sadly we have no money to support travel, accommodation or attendance costs.
Critical Animal Studies in an Age of Mass Extinction: The Inaugural Conference of the North American Association for Critical Animal Studies (NAACAS).
May 27-29, 2020, University of British Columbia Okanagan.
Keynote speakers include Maneesha Deckha, Lori Gruen, and Claire Jean Kim.
We live in a time of biodiversity loss that has only five precedents in the history of the earth—and, unlike the previous five mass extinction events, this time, an extraordinarily destructive minority of one species, our own, is the cause. Indeed, current rates of anthropogenic biodiversity loss are a clearer indication that we have entered a new geological epoch—what is being called the Anthropocene—than climate change, and climate change is but one of many anthropogenic causes of the current extinction event. Although such catastrophic eliminations in the web of life will inevitably have dire repercussions for humans, mass extinction continues to be a relatively rare subject of media, political, and ethical discussion in comparison to climate change. How should Critical Animal Studies scholars respond to the fact that species are disappearing at nearly unprecedented rates? What can Critical Animal Studies perspectives offer in terms of political and ethical responses to the Sixth Extinction? Does thinking about animal death at the scale of mass biodiversity loss challenge, or lend urgency to, certain approaches to Critical Animal Studies? Are species extinctions any more tragic than the deaths of animals who belong to abundant species, such as the industrially farmed animals and laboratory animals on whom CAS scholars frequently focus? The North American Association for Critical Animal Studies will host its first, biennial meeting at the University of British Columbia Okanagan, in Kelowna, British Columbia (Canada), May 27-29, 2020. Please submit an abstract (maximum 150 words) and a short bio (maximum 100 words) to
. Questions can be directed to the NAACAS email, Kelly Struthers Montford:
and/or Jodey Castricano:
Animaterialities: The Material Culture of Animals (including Humans): Sixteenth Material Culture Symposium for Emerging Scholars. April 24-25, 2020. University of Delaware.
The Center for Material Culture Studies at the University of Delaware invites submissions for graduate student papers that examine the relationship between material culture and animal studies for its biennial Emerging Scholars Symposium (April 24–25, 2020). This symposium merges the interdisciplinary study of animals—and the related critical conversations surrounding animality, species, agency, objectivity, and subjectivity—with material culture studies. Five years after the Audubon Society's startling Birds and Climate Change Report, we continue to hear about the prices non-human animals pay for human choices: extinction, loss of habitat, and poisoned food sources. The present moment begs, more than ever, critical questions about the intersections between the material world and the (fellow) animals with whom we share it. We thus propose the theme "animaterialities," a term which acknowledges the constant presence of other-than-human animals as physical bodies entangled in various anthropocentric systems, whether political, economic or cultural. Animaterialities encourages participants to consider animals not as passive forms of matter for human use, but as active beings capable of resilience in the face of humans' material domination and exploitation. Finally, it recognizes the necessary turn material culture studies must take when applied to other-than-human animals, as opposed to artificial, vegetal, or mineral subjects/materials.
Proposals by current graduate students and recent graduates (May 2019 or later) should be no more than 250 words. Up to two relevant images are welcome. Send your proposal and a current c.v. (two pages or fewer) to
. Proposals must be received by
. Travel grants will be available for participants.
Flann O'Brien & the Nonhuman: Animals, Environments, Machines. Editors: Katherine Ebury, Paul Fagan, John Greaney
Recent years have seen a remarkable rise in studies dedicated to the nonhuman turn in Irish literary and modernist contexts. Yet this proposed collection posits that the writing of Brian O’Nolan (pseud. Flann O’Brien, Myles na gCopaleen) constitutes a significant gap in these critical conversations. This is a body of writing acutely suited to the concerns of animal studies, ecocriticism, ecofeminism, object oriented ontology, cyborg theory and posthumanist approaches, but which remains conspicuous by its absence in these debates. This volume of essays addresses and corrects this critical lacuna. At first blush, readers might think of The Third Policeman’s uncanny landscapes and the 'monstrous exchange of tissue for metal' in the atomic hybridisation of people and bicycles; or of the cast of At Swim-Two-Birds, which includes the bird-man Sweeney, the Pooka MacPhellimey, and a cow who is called as a star witness in the author’s show trial. But this is an oeuvre in which conventional narratives of the human-nonhuman binary are troubled at all turns, whether in the author’s high modernist novels as Flann O’Brien, his newspaper columns, Irish-langauge work, and writing for stage, radio and television as Myles na gCopaleen, or his diverse short stories, non-fiction, and letters under an arsenal of pseudonyms and personae. For instance, in this broader canon we observe the brutal, rain-soaked landscapes, Irish-speaking pigs, and seals of An Béal Bocht; the protagonist’s strange metamorphosis into a train in ‘John Duffy’s Brother’; the columns’ recurrent concern with steam men, writing machines and pataphysical inventions; the donkey's tragedy in the late-career teleplay The Man with Four Legs; or Rhapsody in Stephen’s Green, O'Nolan's stage adaptation of Karel and Josef Čapek’s The Insect Play. The editors invite proposals for chapters on all approaches to O’Nolan’s broader body of writing and its creative reception that are relevant to the volume’s themes. Please send bios and abstracts of no more than 500 words to
February 1, 2020
Nonhuman Animals, Climate Crisis and the Role of Literature
. Editor: Sune Borkfelt
The world is in crisis: socially, politically, environmentally. We are increasingly confronted with notions of otherness as the world is shrinking – we interact with diverse cultures, ideas, agendas as we never have before. Yet, at the same time, we are increasingly polarized in our thinking, with the rise of a global right-wing agenda challenging a progressive wave of policies the world over. Yet, these crises seem to pale in consideration of the increasingly urgent climate crisis. There is little debate left on whether the climate is changing, though there are still some people arguing about the cause. As McKibben notes, this is no longer a question for science, but rather, what we need is an interpretation and communication of the urgency of the problem which produces meaningful and effective change. For many years, the question of whether fiction could articulate the vastness of the problem was up for debate. Ursula Heise, in Sense of Place and Sense of Planet (2008), identifies a failure on behalf of fiction to intervene as due to the complex nature of climate change, which happens on a scale, and over spatial, temporal, and cultural divides that are unprecedented historically. Nonetheless, there have been increasing amounts of narratives – including in literature – which concern themselves with global climate change. For example, Climate Fiction, or Cli-Fi, has been seen in ecocriticism as a potential answer to this call.
This collection calls for considerations of new interventions by literature in relation to these pressing questions and debates. We are seeking chapters which present cases of literature attempting such intervention, theoretical considerations of the role of literature in these debates, and questions about the efficacy of such a project. We seek diverse voices and perspectives, hoping to see the impact that stories about the issue, and speculating about solutions, can have in shifting debates toward real life concerns. Proposals should be for original works not previously published (including in conference proceedings) and that are not currently under consideration for another edited collection or journal. Proposals of 500 words (or optionally completed papers) and abbreviated CVs listing academic affiliation and publications are due
. If the essay is accepted for the collection, a full draft (5000-7000 words) will be required by May 15th, 2020. We have had positive preliminary discussions with Palgrave about publication, and the editors of the Palgrave Studies in Animals and Literature series are looking forward to receiving a full proposal once the abstracts have been selected. Please send all queries and proposals to editors, Sune Borkfelt, Aarhus University
and Matthias Stephan, Aarhus University
. The editors are happy to discuss ideas prior to the deadline.
As you can see, there is a tremendous amount of activity and progress going on today in the field of human-animal studies, and we always invite your input and participation. Your
to the Animals & Society Institute will enable us to continue to expand the field in many more ways and work in conjunction with others around the world who share these goals.
Thank you for supporting our Human-Animal Studies efforts!
Human-Animal Studies Program Director