[UPDATE] Human/Animal Encounters in Contemporary Culture 10/05/2013

full name / name of organization: 
Kingston University
contact email: 
s.upstone@kingston.ac.uk

In her recent work on human-animal encounter, Donna Haraway asks us to consider ‘who “we” will become when species meet’. At the centre of Haraway’s question is a concern for the mutuality of species, and a desire to reconfigure those Enlightenment inheritances which dialectically position ‘animal’ as the other of ‘human’. Such interests demand a reappraisal not merely of humanist discourse, but also of related questions regarding ethics and responsibility.
This one day symposium hosted in conjunction with Cultural Histories at Kingston aims to consider how contemporary cultural texts in their broadest definition (literature, performance, creative writing, film and television) not only engage with the human-animal encounter, but also how this relationship might speak to a transformative social discourse in terms of ‘beingist’ agendas that interrogate not only humanist allegiances, but also more traditional identity politics.
Confirmed guest speaker: Professor John Mullarkey, Professor of Film and Television Kingston University.
The organisers welcome 20 minute papers that speak to any aspect of this theme, which might include, but are not limited to:
 Animal-human encounters
 Animal as metaphor/anti-metaphor
 Animal-human transformations
 Performing the ‘animal’
 The animal other in popular culture
 ‘Beingist’ interrogations of identity politics
 Revisions of humanism/ posthumanism/ transhumanism in the context of animal encounters
 Speculative realism and the animal
 Animal ethics/responsibility
 Animals and anti-correlationist perspectives
The organisers intend to put together an edited collection based on the symposium theme. Selected presenters may be invited to submit essays based on their papers. Postgraduate students are encouraged to apply.

Please send 200 word abstracts to s.upstone@kingston.ac.uk by 15 July 2013.

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