Animal/Nonhuman Workshop

University of Chicago

Save the Dates: Why Do Animal Studies? Apr. 26 & 27

CALL FOR PAPERS, FICTION, ART, PERFORMANCE, MUSIC

 

Why Do Animal Studies?:

The Turn to the Quasi-, Post-, Anti-, Non-, Para-

 

A Reprise of the 2014 Conference,

Thursday, April 26 and Friday, April 27, 2018, *N.B., Date Change*

at The University of Chicago and Northwestern University,

 

with a Keynote Performance by

Adam Zaretsky (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

 

and a Roundtable on the Future of Animal Studies feat.

Giovanni Aloi (School for the Art Institute of Chicago)

Ron Broglio (Arizona State University)

Susan McHugh (University of New England) and

Timothy S. Murphy (Oklahoma State University)

 

Why do Animal Studies? Last month, the Animal/Nonhuman Workshop at the University of Chicago issued an experimental Call for Questions in response to a perceived change in the objects of study of the people at the forefront of our theoretical subfield. Based on the overwhelming and delightfully varied replies to the investigative CFQ (see below), we are currently soliciting papers – humanistic and scientific – and artworks – primarily literary and visual – on the semi-liquid categories of the quasi-, post-, anti-, non-, and para-animal. We welcome submissions on any/all subjects that illuminate these nascent categorizations, helping us to understand, and ultimately forcefully to articulate, the new direction of our subfield and the stakes of literary, artistic, and critical projects for humans and nonhuman others. We are particularly interested in submissions on the following topics:

 

  • Biospheres, Kinship, Hybridity
  • Conservation, Mass Extinction, Apocalypse
  • Machines, Inorganic/Nonliving Things
  • Virtual Animals/Others
  • Local, Small-Scale Projects; Large Scale; Deep Time
  • Energy: Traditional, Alternative
  • Plants, Critical Plant Studies
  • Speculative and Non-Earth Worlds
  • The Future of Animal Studies

 

We realize, however, that this list is incomplete. We remain, as such, very much open to submissions on single animals and related topics. If you are interested in participating, submit a bio and paper abstract or art/performance description (250-300 words) to whydoanimalstudies.uchicago@gmail.com by January 15, 2018. (Given the limited time and space of the conference, we regret that we cannot entertain panel proposals.)

 

Original Call for Questions Below:

Nov. 28: Kate Marshall (English, Notre Dame) to Animal/Nonhuman Workshop

(Click flyer to enlarge)

Nov. 14: Marissa Fenley (English, University of Chicago) to Animal/Nonhuman Workshop

(Click flyer to enlarge)

Call for Questions: Why Do Animal Studies: The Turn towards Nonhuman, Post-human, and More-than-human Worlds

(Click flyer to enlarge)

Oct. 31: Jessica Landau (Art History, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) to the Spooktastic Animal/Nonhuman Workshop

(Click flyer to enlarge)

Oct. 17: Jacob Henry Leveton (Art History, Northwestern) to Animal/Nonhuman Workshop

(Click flyer to enlarge)

Oct. 3: Luke Fidler (Art History, University of Chicago) to Animal/Nonhuman Workshop

(Click flyer to enlarge)

Sept. 26: Animal/Nonhuman Workshop Reads Mick Smith

The Animal/Nonhuman Workshop requests your presence at a roundtable discussion of “Primitivism: Anarchy, Politics, and the State of Nature,” Against Ecological Sovereignty by Mick Smith (Associate Professor of Philosophy, Queen’s University)

4:30-6:00 p.m., Tuesday, September 26 in Rosenwald 405 Wieboldt 230 **Please Note the Room Change**

Drinks and light food will be served. Please email Zoe B. Hughes at zbhughes@uchicago.edu with questions/concerns and for a copy of the reading.

Wieboldt Hall is located at 1050 East 59th 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 B. Hughes (email address above).

Interstices of Organic, Inorganic, and Cosmic Worlds: Fall 2017 Schedule

Sept. 26.     Orienting Discussion: “Primitivism: Anarchy, Politics, and the State of Nature,” Mick Smith (Associate Professor of Philosophy, Queen’s University)

Oct. 3.     “Nonhuman Footnotes to A General Theory of Visual Culture: The Aesthetic Work of Bowerbirds, Brittlestars, and Japanese Pufferfish,” Luke Fidler (Art History, University of Chicago)

Oct. 17.     “Albion Mill and the 18th-Century London Geography of Revolt: Coal, Steam, and Architecture for the Anthropocene,” Jacob Henry Leveton (Art History, Northwestern)

Oct. 31.     “Feeling Is Believing: Disrupting Wilderness through Photography and Film,” Jessica Landau (Art History, University of Illinois)

Nov. 14.     “Setting Loose the Libido of the Puppet: Sophie Taeuber’s Critique of Psychoanalysis,” Marissa Fenley (English, University of Chicago)

Nov. 28.     “Cosmic Realism,” Kate Marshall (Associate Professor of English, Notre Dame)

N.B.: All meetings will take place 4:30-6 p.m. in Wieboldt 230 unless otherwise indicated. Wieboldt Hall is located at 1050 East 59th 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 B. Hughes at zbhughes@uchicago.edu.

Call for Papers: Fall and Winter 2018

How, and to what effect, does the nonhuman frame the human?

The University of Chicago’s longstanding Animal Studies Workshop is currently soliciting papers on animals, plants, machines, and other groups on the fringes of humanity. If your work interrogates the conceptual boundaries between the human and any or all of the above, the Animal/Nonhuman Workshop invites you to participate in this year’s cycle of presentations and papers. In the past, our workshop has been attended by students and faculty members from across the humanities and humanistic social sciences, providing a much-needed discussion forum for animal-, plant-, machine-, and object-oriented classicists, literary and film scholars, philosophers, historians, anthropologists, and economists, among others. The problem of the nonhuman, which requires a broad and deep knowledge, all but demands the transgression of conventional areas of study. Working together, the members of our workshop explore cross-disciplinary subjects, including but not limited to:

– Representations of nonhumans in literature, film, and visual art

– Human supremacy (or lack thereof); alterity, real or imagined

– The status, and subsequently, treatment of the nonhuman in disparate regions, time periods, and religions

– The boundaries of the moral community; the ethics of vegetarianism, veganism

– Animality and “becomings-animal”; dehumanization and intersectionality

– Hierarchies of nonhumans; the figure or status of the hybrid or monster

– The ways humanity has been/is being transformed by rapid technological advancement; the pros and cons of human enhancement

– The Anthropocene; Environmentalism and Anti-environmentalism

– The value of diversity; the threat and reality of extinction and responses thereto

– Agriculture and animal husbandry; domestication in theory and practice

– Human and nonhuman spaces; the ethics of zoos and aquariums

– Humanism, Posthumanism, Transhumanism, Antihumanism, and New Materialism

We also welcome submissions on the future of Animal/Nonhuman Studies: given that ours is a nascent area of study and there is a group of researchers that attends our workshop every other week, we are in the exciting position not only to forge solutions to animal/nonhuman problems, but also to contribute to the metadiscourse about our subfield.

If you want to help us develop a unique, institutional voice on issues concerning animals and other nonhumans, or you have an idea – or a paper or chapter – about the role of the fox in medieval French literature or the drone in American consciousness, we ask that you submit a 250 to 500-word abstract to zbhughes@uchicago.edu by December 31, 2018.

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