Saturday, 24 December 2011

"Wanted, Dead or Alive: Critical Geographies of Human-Animal Encounters"

Call for papers:
"Wanted, Dead or Alive: Critical Geographies of Human-Animal Encounters"

RGS-IBG Conference, 3rd-5th July 2012

Organisers: Daniel Allen (Independent Scholar), and Richard White (Sheffield Hallam). Animal Geography Research Network

The emergence of a ‘more-than-human geographies’ approach to the natural world has seen the dissolution of nature-culture binaries, challenged understandings of “the animal”, and heightened the appreciation of hybridity and subjectivities. Despite these important developments, it has been suggested that ‘something is lost’ with this analysis; and the danger of denying difference altogether remains (Castree, 2003). As Philo (2005: 829) reflects: ‘might it not be that the animals – in detail, up close, face-to-face, as it were – still remain somewhat shadowy presences? They are animating the stories being told, but in their individuality – as different species, even as individuals – they stay in the margins.’

This ambitious session strives to reconsider the original aims of the new animal geographies project, documenting all manner of encounters between humans and animals, showing the spatiality of human-animal orderings, and revealing how such relationships shaped ideas, practices and identities throughout history (Philo and Wilbert, 2001). The session welcomes papers engaging with human-animal encounters in secure places, landscapes of defence, spaces of security and insecurity. Possible topics could include: animals in warfare, detection species at home and in the workplace, animals as both forms of security for and devourers of property, encounters with dangerous species (captivity, taming, killing), securing indigenous and endangered species populations, animal protection through welfare and rights. The session will showcase the rich variety of human-animal research in social, cultural and historical geography. By bringing together ‘retold stories’ (H. Lorimer, 2005) and ‘responsible anthropologies’ (Johnston, 2008) it is hoped this session will keep non-human animals out of the shadows of marginality, and also help secure ongoing contributions from the field of animal geography.

Instructions for Authors: Please send abstracts (250 words max) to Daniel Allen (, or Richard J White ( by Friday 27th January 2012.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

Minding Animals Conference 2012

4-6 July 2012
Utrecht University, the Netherlands

This conference is the second in a series of conferences about scientific, ethical and social issues related to human interactions with and uses of animals.

The aim of the conference is to bring together academics from different areas (animal welfare, animal ethics, and animal studies in general) with politicians and a broad variety of interest groups. The conference offers a platform for exchange of information about research developments, debates about controversial political and ethical issues concerning the treatment of animals and a variety of cultural activities around animals.

Click here to see poster with more details. 

The British Animal Studies Network is back. Having run over ten meetings between 2007 and 2009 in central London with the support of the AHRC and Middlesex University, BASN will be re-launched in central Glasgow in May 2012, with the financial support of the University of Strathclyde. Under the leadership of Erica Fudge once again, it is hoped that the new home for BASN will welcome both old and new members to join the multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary conversations about humans and other animals.

The topics for the first three meetings will be:
  • Wild
  • Farm
  • Looking at Animals
The meetings in Glasgow will take a different form from those in London. They will run over two days – from Friday afternoon until Saturday early evening. Papers will be by invitation and also by open call, and there will – as before – be plenty of time scheduled for informal conversation and socialising.
To receive further information about meetings, dates, cfps, etc. please join the BASN mailing list.

Details of the first BASN-Glasgow meeting and the call for papers are now available.
It is hoped that these meetings, as with those held in London, will be attended by a range of people involved in animal studies and related areas. This might include scholars and postgraduates working within the field; scholars from outside of animal studies who are beginning to recognise the significance of studying the role, place and perception of animals; people from non-academic institutions – animal welfare charities, museums, NGOs; and artists who are representing and thinking about animals in their work.

(All images on the BASN website come from Special Collections in the Andersonian Library at the University of Strathclyde, and are reproduced with permission.)

Critical Perspectives on Animals in Society

Hard to Handle. The Aesthetics and Politics of Specimens on Display

Upcoming event:
International Conference
Hard to Handle. The Aesthetics and Politics of Specimens on Display (working title)International conference at the Department of History of Art, UCL
17-19 May 2012
More details to be announced soon!

For further information please contact
Mechthild Fend m.fend(@) or Petra Lange-Berndt p.lange-berndt(@)

Cosmopolitan Animals

Keynote speakers
Donna Haraway / Simon Glendinning
Two-day international conference: October 26-27, 2012, Institute of English Studies, London

Recent scholarship on human-animal relationships has begun to explore our sharing, co-existing, and ‘becoming with’ animals. Such a scholarly focus brings into perspective new possibilities and permutations of cosmopolitanism, calling for a fresh awareness that animals are fellow creatures, that hosting and hospitality are not restricted to relationships between humans, and that worldliness is far from being a human monopoly. In what ways can we conceptualise cosmopolitanisms which are not solely ‘human’, and where and how are such relationships made possible? This conference, under the theme of ‘Cosmopolitan Animals’, seeks to interrogate and decentre humanist metanarratives that have dominated our thinking and ways of living, while looking to the many non-human others who populate the cosmos. Animal cosmopolitanism not only raises the serious issues of our responsibility for, and responsiveness to, animal others (Derrida), or what Isabelle Stengers calls ‘cosmopolitics’, which according to Haraway, includes our ‘bearing the mortal consequences’ for the decisions we make over animal bodies and worlds. Our rapidly inter-linking world also urgently requires coordination between the local and the international in addressing issues that concern humans and non-humans equally, including the detritus of empires and their aftermaths, new intensities of exploitation and commodification, and new pressures of migration, immigration, and circulation that severely test existing ethics of hospitality, hosting, sharing, and co-mingling.
         In the spirit of cosmopolitanism which welcomes free-crossings and surprising encounters, papers are sought widely from all kinds of disciplines from an international community of scholars, activists and artists. Possible topics include, but are not limited to:
  • Animal cosmopolitanism
  • human-animal communication
  • terrapolitanism
  • animals and gender
  • animalized humans/ humanized animals
  • ‘the posthuman’
  • performing animals
  • laboratory animals
  • animal ethics and the politics of meat
  • animals in (post)colonial spaces
  • vermin
  • the wilderness and wild animals
  • domestication, breeding and pet keeping
  • ‘companion species’
  • micro-organisms, pathogens and parasites
  • hosting and guesting (with) animals
  • animals, empires, neoimperialisms
  • migration, immigration and animals
  • nomadic animals
  • biopolitics and medical science
  • conservation, ecology and climate change
  • technologies and animals
  • human-animal studies
  • animals in philosophy and literature
  • animals in history, science and medicine
  • music, art and animals
  • imaginary animal
  • the politics of creaturely life
'This conference is supported by the School of English, the School of History, the Centre for Studies in the Long Eighteenth Century, the Centre for Colonial and Postcolonial Studies, and the Centre for American Studies'

Please send a short abstract (200-300 words) for 20 minute papers to[3] or[4] by January 31, 2012. We also welcome proposals for non-paper based presentations (poster, performance or other artistic work).

Conference Committee: Prof. Donna Landry, Prof. Caroline Rooney, Dr. Kaori Nagai and Monica Mattfeld, (School of English), Dr. Karen Jones and Dr. Charlotte Sleigh (School of History), University of Kent, UK

Monday, 12 December 2011

Animal Geography. Status: Endangered?

Location: RGS-IBG, London
Dates: 31 Aug – 2 Sept 2011

Abstract: Since the “animal turn” in the late 1990s, animals have been released from the conceptual black box of nature and put back into human geography. In North America, the AAG Animal Geography Specialty Group is now thriving, as is the interdisciplinary Human-Animal Studies Group (HAS). Jody Emel and Julie Urbanik (2010: 203) underlined the innovative role of Animal Geography in Teaching the Animal: Human-Animal Studies Across the Disciplines: ‘[T]he contribution of geographers are unique precisely because of their emphasis on the historical and spatial contexts of specific lives and relationships: in effect space, place, landscapes are instrumental to furthering the goals of HAS.’

Within the IBG, there have been ongoing developments: ranging from new geographies of human-animal relations (Philo and Wilbert, 2002), spatialities of nature-culture hybrids (Whatmore, 2002), animal landscapes (Matless et al, 2005), dwelt animal geographies (H. Lorimer, 2005; Johnston, 2008), and embodied historical geographies (J. Lorimer and Whatmore, 2009). Despite this, the sub-discipline of Animal Geography has seemingly become endangered, a status which could prevent geographers from shaping broader interdisciplinary research. This session provides a platform for animal geographers to present their work, discuss the status of IBG Animal Geography, and establish its future within the geographical imagination.

For full list of papers click on links: Session 1  Session 2  Session 3