Being Non/Human - abstract deadline: Friday 2nd August

full name / name of organization: 
King's College London

This is a call for papers from postgraduate students and early career researchers for a new interdisciplinary discussion group (starting in the upcoming academic year at King's College London) which focuses on the interactions between the human and nonhuman, discussing relevant articles and providing a forum for graduate students and staff to present papers.

The past few decades have seen an increasing interest in various forms of the nonhuman, including different considerations of the posthuman, a renewed interest in material studies, the rise of animal studies and the development of ecomaterialism. These different fields challenge past and current anthropocentric world views, but in turn have also led to a re-evaluation of what it means to be 'human' or indeed 'nonhuman'. To what extent is the division between the 'human' and the 'nonhuman' stable? How do interactions between the 'human' and the 'nonhuman' redefine our concepts of these terms? What terms should be used to describe these entities? Can the 'nonhuman' be given a certain degree of subjectivity?

We are looking for papers that examine what it means to be human and/or nonhuman. This could be considered from a variety of perspectives, e.g. the interpretation of the human/nonhuman in literature, sociology, the sciences, philosophy, the arts, etc. Both contemporary and historical perspectives are welcomed. As we aim for these seminars to be interdisciplinary, please bear in mind that your audience may not be from your own field of research.

Possible topics could include, but are not limited to:

• The human as a distinct entity
• The posthuman
• The animal / 'animot'
• Nature and Ecomaterialism
• 'Thing Theory', 'Object Oriented Ontology' – what does it mean
to be an 'object' or 'thing'?
• Metamorphoses, hybrids, monsters
• The nonhuman as an incorporeal being
• Automata, simulations, technology

Please send abstracts (250 – 300 words) or any queries to:
Papers should be 15 - 20 minutes.

The group will be run by Sophia Wilson (King's College London) and Lydia Zeldenrust (Queen Mary), and will take place one evening a month.

The deadline for abstracts is: Friday 2nd August 2013