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

full name / name of organization: 
Queen's University

Keynotes: Carol Adams and David Clark

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 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
* 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

Proposals may reflect traditional and innovative formats, including papers, panels, roundtables, and community dialogues, as well as creative submissions. Please send an abstract of approximately 250 words, along with your name, department, affiliation, and e-mail address to For creative submissions, send 30 lines of poetry or a 300 word excerpt. For information about our call for artistic submissions for our connected Just Act Natural art exhibit, please contact .

The deadline for submissions is October 1st, 2009.