Reading Animals

full name / name of organization: 
University of Sheffield
contact email: 
readinganimals@sheffield.ac.uk

Reading Animals

An International English Studies Conference
School of English, University of Sheffield, UK

17–20 July, 2014
Abstract deadline: 19 December, 2013.

Keynote Speakers: Erica Fudge, Tom Tyler, Cary Wolfe, others TBC

Reporting in the journal PMLA on the emergence and consolidation of animal studies, Cary Wolfe drew attention to the role of the Millennial Animals conference, held in the School of English at the University of Sheffield in 2000, as a formative event in this interdisciplinary field. Seeking now to focus the diverse critical practice in animal studies, a second conference at Sheffield seeks to uncover the extent to which the discipline of English Studies now can and should be reimagined as the practice of reading animals.

This conference seeks to reflect and to extend the full range of critical methodologies, forms, canons and geographies current in English Studies; contributions are also most welcome from interested scholars in cognate disciplines. Reading Animals will be programmed to encourage comparative reflection on representations of animals and interspecies encounters in terms of both literary-historical period and overarching interpretive themes. As such, seven keynote presentations are planned; each will focus on how reading animals is crucial in the interpretation of the textual culture of a key period from the middle ages to the present. The conference will also feature a plenary panel of key scholars who will reflect on the importance when reading animals of thinking across periods and in thematic, conceptual and formal terms.

Papers should focus on the interpretation of textual animals at any date from the Middle Ages to the present. We seek submissions that read animals in relation to period or in terms of the following indicative list of themes:

Genre/Media/Form/Mode
• animals in genre (adventure; tragedy; classic realism; satire; comedy; epic; lyric; elegy; nature writing; non-fiction, criticism and polemic; detective/mystery; gothic; sf; children’s literature; graphic novel)
• animal genres (bestiary; fictionalised [auto-]biography; fairy tale; fable; allegory; didactic story; pet memoir)

Arts, Aesthetics, Philosophies
• reading animals in theatre and performance, music, visual culture, film, dance, theory

Ethics, Politics, Society
• intersections of species—race—ethnicity—disability—sex—gender—sexuality— class—

History
• animals as subjects and objects of historical interpretation; animal materialisms; post-anthropocentric literary and cultural history

Science and Technology
• bio-engineering; technologies of animal use; narratives of meat/vivisection; ethology; biosemiotics and zoosemiotics

Environments and Geographies
• empire and colonialism; politics and poetics of space; globalisation; zoo-heterotopias; extinctions; comparative animal literatures

Abstracts for 20 minute papers (300 words) or pre-formed 3-paper panels (1000 words) are welcome by 19 December, 2013 from researchers at any stage of their career, including early career scholars and postgraduates. Please send by email to readinganimals@sheffield.ac.uk.

cfp categories: 
african-american
american
childrens_literature
cultural_studies_and_historical_approaches
ecocriticism_and_environmental_studies
eighteenth_century
ethnicity_and_national_identity
film_and_television
gender_studies_and_sexuality
international_conferences
medieval
modernist studies
poetry
popular_culture
postcolonial
religion
renaissance
romantic
science_and_culture
theatre
theory
travel_writing
twentieth_century_and_beyond
victorian