Representing Animals in Britain (Deadline for proposals 2/1/2011, Conference 10/20/2011)

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University of Rennes 2
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Britain is traditionally seen as a nation of animal lovers and evidence for this has cropped up with mounting regularity over the past two centuries. Yet, the essentially self-congratulatory idea that Britain is "a nation of animal lovers" and that their representations of animals are unlike any other people's is currently being questioned, in both activist and academic circles. This conference, which will welcome the healthy confrontation of interdisciplinary viewpoints, invites in-depth examination of the representation(s) of animals in the fields of history, philosophy, sociology, politics, law, cultural studies, the visual arts and the media. How have animals been imagined, portrayed, idealised, regarded or disregarded, even effaced? In what ways has their evolving ontological, legal and political status shaped these representations? The answers to these questions and those brought up by the participants will aim at making sense of a supposedly unique and long-standing British relationship with animals.

Presentations will be in English.

Please submit 250-word abstracts by February 1st, 2011 to Emilie Dardenne (emiliedardenne [at] and Sophie Mesplède (sophie.mesplede [at] with "Representing Animals in Britain Proposal Submission" noted in the subject line. Attachments should be in Rich Text or Word format only. Please include your name, professional affiliation, and contact information. Notification of acceptance will be made by April 1st, 2011.
The best papers will be subsequently selected for publication.

Keynote Speakers
Steve Baker, University of Central Lancashire
Robert Garner, University of Leicester
Hilda Kean, Ruskin College , Oxford University
Richard Ryder

Scientific Program Committee
Florence Burgat, INRA, University of Paris 1
Claire Charlot, University of Rennes 2
Emilie Dardenne, University of Rennes 2
Renée Dickason, University of Rennes 2
Elisabeth Hardouin-Fugier, University of Lyon 3
Jean-Baptiste Jeangène-Vilmer, King's College London
Sophie Mesplède, University of Rennes 2
Brendan Prendiville, University of Rennes 2
Emmanuel Roudaut, IEP Lille

Conference Co-Chairs and Local Organising Committee
Emilie Dardenne, University of Rennes 2
Sophie Mesplède, University of Rennes 2

Conference website

This event is organised by the research group Anglophonie, Communautés, Ecritures ( University of Rennes 2). It is a pre-conference for the International Minding Animals Conference 2, Utrecht 2012.