Young Scholars' 2024 Conference Panel - Representations of Animal Bodies and the More-than-Human World

deadline for submissions: 
January 24, 2024
full name / name of organization: 
Liayana Jondy
contact email: 

This online panel is being organized for the upcoming hybrid Young Scholars’ Conference on “Legal bodies, embodied subjects: (re)contextualisations of physicality.” Please note that the conference will be held in CET time zone. As such, the panel, while entirely online, will also adhere to CET time zone.

The animal body is integral to discussions of the human body. Out of the Victorian period, for instance, came Darwin’s The Descent of Man that challenged conceptions pertaining to the divide between humans and animals and ideals that enforced the superiority of humankind over “lesser” creatures. In other words, out of the Victorian period came an ever-pressing conceptualization of humankind that no longer vastly distinguished the human body from the animal body. Working in tandem with the conference’s focus on bodies and embodied subjects, this panel, titled “Representations of Animal Bodies and the More-than-Human World," seeks to foreground non-human animal bodies as its object of focus in order to destabilize an otherwise anthropocentrically narrowed viewpoint on bodies, one that excludes our non-human animal counterparts.

Ultimately, this panel seeks to reimagine the ways in which representations of animals in Victorian literature contributed to and/or challenged sentiments surrounding animal welfare and animal rights. Specifically, we ask that papers consider various types of literature (i.e., children’s literature, animal autobiography, realism, gothic literature, etc.) published during the nineteenth century in relation to expressions and representations of animals and their bodies that portray them as marginalized ‘others’ or, according to Carol J. Adams in The Sexual Politics of Meat, “absent referents.”

Papers may consider (but are not limited to) the following topics:

  • vivisection;
  • definitions of cruelty as depicted in women’s writing on animals;
  • sympathy and care towards animals;
  • animal welfare and animal rights;
  • studies on pets, working animals, and/or wild animals;
  • talking animals/anthropomorphism in children’s literature or literature marketed towards children;
  • taxidermy;
  • monstrous ‘others’, blurring of human-animal.

We welcome proposals for papers 15-20 minutes long on any of the topics above. Please send proposals of no more than 200-300 words, the title of the paper, your time zone, and a brief (30-50 word) biography to Liayana Jondy ( If you have any questions about the panel, please feel free to reach out via email.

Deadline for proposals: January 24th, 2024