CFP: [Cultural-Historical] Animal Bodies of Knowledge: Understandings of Species Difference Across Disciplines

full name / name of organization: 
Vincent J. Guihan
contact email: 

Over the twentieth century, a number of key works of cultural theory,
social and biological science have effectively exposed and challenged
domination on the basis of race, gender, class, age, and national
difference, as social and discursive constructs that suit the needs of the
political status quo But what about species differences? For the hundreds
of thoughtful essays, books, collections on race, gender, nationality, age
and other bases for domination, the academy has been reluctant to raise
similar questions about what we presuppose to be the differences, real or
imagined, between human and non-human animals. Although the scientific and
philosophical discussion of species difference has its roots in ancient
Western thought, over the course of the last 150 years or so, this
discussion has produced separate bodies of conflicting but also
recapitulating knowledge across the sciences, the humanities and in
creative/imaginative work. At the same time, different modes of
interrogating what it means to be human as opposed to what it means to be
an animal have become increasingly estranged from each other, such that
thinkers from a given discipline (biology, philosophy, political science)
run the risk of ignoring prevalent ideas or important advances in other
disciplines. Understanding how these different understandings of species
difference function and to what ends helps us to raise serious questions
about one of the least interrogated bases for the domination of both human
and non-human animals in Western culture. This edited collection calls for
papers across multiple disciplines (biological and social science,
political and philosophical theory and practice, as well as imaginative
work) to better understand species difference and how it functions in
particular fields of inquiry.

Interested authors should provide 200 word abstracts and a 100 word
biography to Vincent J. Guihan and/or Sinead
Collins ( by April 15, 2008 for consideration.

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Received on Mon Mar 24 2008 - 09:33:41 EST