Animal/Nonhuman Workshop

University of Chicago

Spring Schedule

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SPRING 2017 SCHEDULE: ANIMAL/NONHUMAN WORKSHOP

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All meetings are in Rosenwald 405  unless otherwise specified

 

Week 3, Wed., Apr. 12 Sara-Jo Swiatek (Religious Ethics, University of Chicago)

“The ‘Human Prejudice’ and Nonhuman Others”

4:45-6 p.m. in Swift 106 **Please Note Date, Time, and Room**

 

Week 4, Mon., Apr. 17 Cody Jones (Comparative Literature, University of Chicago)

“Anatomy of a Ghost: An Essay on the Hauntological Commodity”

 

Week 6, Mon., May 1 Sam Schulte (Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science, University of Chicago) “The Beautiful Cell: Image and Affect”

 

Week 7, Mon., May 8 Agustin Fuentes (Anthropology, University of Notre Dame)

“Making, Breaking, Reinventing: engaging human-other animal interface research in the Anthropocene”

 

Week 10, Mon., Jun. 5 Claudio Sansone (Comparative Literature, University of Chicago)

“Barren Cows and the Restoration of Kingship at Ithaca”

Winter Schedule

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WINTER 2017 SCHEDULE: ANIMAL/NONHUMAN WORKSHOP

“Around the World in 80 Animal/Nonhuman Studies:

Regional Perspectives on Beings at the Margins of Humanity”

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All meetings are 4:30-6 p.m. in Rosenwald 405, unless otherwise specified

Thursday, January 19 Rachel Price (Associate Professor of Spanish and Portuguese Studies, Princeton University) with discussant Laura Gandolfi (Assistant Professor of Latin American Literature, University of Chicago) in the Tea Room (201) of Social Science Research

“Energetic Loló Soldevilla” [Energy Exploration and the Art of Dolores Soldevilla (1901-71)]

Monday, January 23 Sam Lasman (Comparative Literature, University of Chicago) “Shapeshifting Iranian Demons”

Monday, February 6 Jess Robinson (Anthropology, University of Chicago) “Prehistoric Natives in the Anthropocene: The Case of the Iguanas”

Monday, February 13 Brady Smith (Humanities Teaching Scholar, English, University of Chicago)

“Africa in/and the Anthropocene”

Monday, February 20 Faculty Panel feat. Heather Keenleyside (English), Mark Payne

(Classics), Jim Hevia (History), and Edgar Garcia (English)

Approaches to Animal/Nonhuman Studies

Monday, January 27 Adam Bain (Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science Anthropology, Pritzker School of Medicine, University of Chicago)

“Canine Visions: Working with Sight in Veterinary Ophthalmology”

Monday, Oct 10th Juno Parreñas “Forced Copulation for Conservation”

The Animal/Nonhuman and Comparative Behavioral Biology Workshops request your presence at a special presentation by Ohio State University’s Assistant Professor of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies

Juno Salazar Parreñas

parrenas14:30-6:00 p.m., Monday, October 10, in Rosenwald 405

We will be workshopping a chapter from the forthcoming book, Decolonizing Extinction: Orangutan Rehabilitation and the Work of Care titled

“Forced Copulation for Conservation”

Light snacks and drinks will be served.

**RSVP for a copy of the chapter**

Email Zoe Hughes or Sam Schulte at zbhughes@uchicago.edu or samschulte@uchicago.edu with  with questions/concerns and to RSVP.

Rosenwald Hall is located at 1101 East 58th Street, Chicago, IL 60637. This event is free and open to the public  Persons with disabilities who may need assistance to attend should contact Zoe Hughes (zbhughes@uchicago.edu).

Animal/Nonhuman Meet-and-Greet. Monday, Oct 3

Please join the Animal/Nonhuman Workshop for its kickoff event, the

Animal/Nonhuman Meet-and-Greet

4:30-6:00 p.m., Monday, October 3,

in Social Science Research 201 (Tea Room)

*Please note the room change*

(Musee de la Chasse et la Nature)

/Learn about the workshop

 /Engage like-minded scholars

/Pizza and drinks will be served

Contact Zoe Hughes/Sam Schulte at zbhughes@uchicago.edu/samschulte@uchicago.edu with questions/concerns/expressions of excitement

The Social Sciences Research Building is located at 1126 East 59th Street. This event is free and open to the public  Persons with disabilities who may need assistance to attend should contact Zoe Hughes (zbhughes@uchicago.edu).

Fall Schedule

All meetings are 4:30-6 p.m. in Rosenwald 405, unless otherwise specified

Monday, October 3    — Meet and Greet

 **Social Science Tea Room, SSR 2nd Floor***

 

Monday, October 10  — Juno Salazar Parreñas

(Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, Ohio State University)

“Forced Copulation for Conservation”

 

Monday, October 24 — Evan Arnet

(History and Philosophy of Science and Medicine, Indiana University-Bloomington)

“Comparative Comparative Psychology”

 

Monday, November 7 — Aurore Spiers

(Cinema and Media Studies, University of Chicago)

“Women and Wild Animals on the Silent Screen”

 

Monday, November 14 — Korshi Dosoo

(Early Christian Studies, Université Paris-Sorbonne)

“Animals in ‘Christian’ Magical Texts from Egypt”

 

Monday, November 21   —  Marshall Kramer

(Anthropology, University of Chicago)

“Medicine and Mobility in the Myanmar Himalayas”

Wednesday, June 1, 2016: James Hevia with “Surra and the Emergence of Tropical Veterinary Medicine in Colonial India”

James L. Hevia, Department of History, University of Chicago

“Surra and the Emergence of Tropical Veterinary Medicine in Colonial India”

Between 1880 and the first decade of the twentieth century, veterinary medicine in India underwent a profound change. Emphasis shifted from the treatment of diseases affecting domestic animals, such as rinderpest. The new focus was on diseases that threatened to undermine a centerpiece of the British imperial security regime, pack animal transport – built, as it was, around camel, mule, donkey, and pony laborers. At the forefront of such concerns was surra, a blood disease caused by a parasite in the trypanosome family. In addition to attacking cavalry horses, it was the single main cause of death among the animals in army transport.

This paper explores the process by which veterinary medicine became militarized, and transformed by germ theory and bacteriology. It will also demonstrate how events in India were explicitly linked to the emerging field of tropical veterinary medicine, bringing Indian army veterinary surgeons into dialogues with counterparts in colonial Southeast Asia and in French and German colonies in Africa.

Please email Katharine Mershon (kpflaum@uchicago.edu) for a copy of the paper.

Light refreshments will be served.

This event is free and open to the public. Persons with disabilities who may need assistance to attend should contact Katharine Mershon (kpflaum@uchicago.edu).

Wednesday, May 18, 2016: Tyler Schroeder with

Tyler Schroeder, Cinema and Media Studies, University of Chicago

“Science as Fantasy: Conflicted Appeals in Maya the Bee and her Adventures (1925)”

Wolfram Junghans’ feature film Die Biene Maja und ihre Abenteuer (1925), filmed over three years using live insects and animals for “actors,” is adapted from a popular children’s novel. The film pairs the painstaking technological work of miniature-scale cinematography with the biological effort required to make insects “perform” before the camera. The writings of its filmmakers suggest the sublimation of the scientific and technological look, which here tries to reinvent itself as a means by which to create whimsy and fantasy. While skeptical critics dismiss the film as fulfilling neither the mandates of science nor of entertainment, I consider the film’s conceptualization, as well as its execution, to reflect the possibilities for rupture embedded within the didactic discourse of silent scientific and hygienic films. Sabine Flach recently wrote that the Weimar social-hygiene film transformed its audience into a medium—imprinting itself upon it by modifying its health and practices in an enduring fashion. My project examines the phenomenon of audience-creation as Kultur filmmakers negotiate and anticipate audience reactions. I do so by examining both the written discourse surrounding hygienic and didactic films and the aesthetics and rhetoric of these films themselves. In particular, I wish to examine the film’s mobilization of anthropomorphism as a problematic bridge between the scientific and the popular, and the demands of resemblance, legibility, and synthesis that are placed upon both insect bodies and specular subjectivities.

By pairing a generic reading of this film in the context of Kulturfilm with an aesthetic and historical evaluation of its cinematographic pracices, I attempt to find a new reading of this historical grouping of films as a whole. By examining the tensions between science and narrative in a film where the narrative is contingent upon optical and biological manipulation, I begin to derive a lineage that unites the fancy of Die Biene Maja with the didacticism of the period’s social-hygiene films, and intimate the possibility of a more vibrant poetics of science, hygiene, and medicine.

Please email Bill Hutchison (hutch@uchicago.edu) for a copy of the paper.

Light refreshments will be served.

This event is free and open to the public. Persons with disabilities who may need assistance to attend should contact Bill Hutchison (hutch@uchicago.edu).

Wednesday, May 4, 2016: Matthew Vanderpoel with “Domesticated Necromancy: ‘Renart Magicien’ and the Non-Humanity of Language”

Matthew Vanderpoel, History of Christianity in the Divinity School, University of Chicago 

“Domesticated Necromancy: ‘Renart Magicien’ and the Non-Humanity of Language”

Co-sponsored with the Medieval Studies workshop

In “Renart the Sorcerer,” an early-thirteenth-century branch of the sprawling Reynard cycle, the titular fox amplifies his usual mischief-making by traveling to Toledo to study necromancy. This paper presents a reading of this understudied text by focusing on Reynard’s apprenticeship in black magic—a process that includes both his formal study of magical formulae and his being domesticated as a house animal. By pairing these activities, the author charges a set of comparisons between the occult rules of enchantment and the strictures of human society. The paper concludes by analyzing this work as a part of larger debates over language and poetry in the high Middle Ages.

Please email Katharine Mershon (kpflaum@uchicago.edu) for a copy of the paper.

Light refreshments will be served.

This event is free and open to the public. Persons with disabilities who may need assistance to attend should contact Katharine Mershon (kpflaum@uchicago.edu).

Wednesday, April 20: James Leo Cahill with “Carnivorous Cinema”

James Leo Cahill, Cinema Studies Institute and Department of French, University of Toronto

“Carnivorous Cinema”

In Jean Vigo’s 1930 address “Toward a Social Cinema,” he challenges engaged filmmakers to pursue subjects “that eat meat” [qui mange de la viande], in other words, film subject that bite into the flesh and inaugurate a carnivorous cinema. What to make of this strange project? What does it mean to premise an engaged cinema upon a violent imperative to devour flesh? What configurations of body, flesh, life, death, and social relations can such an orientation realize?

 

A belated response to Vigo’s challenge appears in a diptych of short films made in the immediate aftermath of the Second World War in France: Jean Painlevé and Geneviève Hamon’s L’Assassins d’eau douce / Freshwater Assassins (1947), a documentary about the predatory behaviors of local freshwater insects set to a frenetic hot jazz soundtrack, and Georges Franju’s Le Sang des bêtes / Blood of the Beasts (1948), an unflinching view of Paris’ abattoirs featuring commentary by Painlevé. Read together, these films develop a cinematic reflection on the food chain, nutritive destruction, and carnivorous behaviors that vacillates between anthropocentric allegories of human culture and uncanny direct addresses that refuse to grant humans the comfort of a stable place outside of the food chain. Working with archival materials (correspondences, alternate scripts, technical notes), contemporaneous writings on carnivorous culture by Antonin Artaud and heterodox Surrealists associated with Documents, and recent work by Eric Santner and Anat Pick on Walter Benjamin’s notion of natural history, I draw out how these films develop ambivalent audiovisual discourses on modes of gustatory violence that co-implicate spectators in their reflections of precarity, vulnerability, and creatureliness of flesh.

Please email Bill Hutchison (hutch@uchicago.edu) for a copy of the paper.

Light refreshments will be served.

This event is free and open to the public. Persons with disabilities who may need assistance to attend should contact Bill Hutchison (hutch@uchicago.edu). 

Wednesday, April 6: “To be (a baboon), or not to be (a bat); On Time and Subjectivity in Baboon Mothers and Infants”

Sam Schulte, Committee on Conceptual and Historical Studies of Science, University of Chicago

“To be (a baboon), or not to be (a bat); On Time and Subjectivity in Baboon Mothers and Infants”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
What kinds of valid inferences can be made about animal life? Baboon Mothers and Infants, as a foundational work for behavioral ecology and deploying methodology from Jeanne Altmann’s 1974 paper on observational study, establishes the validity of focal sampling as a data collection method for the naturalistic study of animal behavior. Using the issue of time in Thomas Nagel’s “What is it like to be a bat?” as a means to explore the ontological and epistemological stakes of her work, I argue that Altmann productively manipulates analytic time in order to form a well-supported notion of what it is like ‘to be’ a mother-infant dyad, and in so doing, makes objective claims about the subjective experience of the dyad.

Please email Katharine Mershon (kpflaum@uchicago.edu) for a copy of the paper.

Light refreshments will be served.

This event is free and open to the public. Persons with disabilities who may need assistance to attend should contact Katharine Mershon (kpflaum@uchicago.edu).

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