School of English, University of Sheffield, UK
17-20 July 2014
Abstract Deadline: 19 December 2013
Keynote Speakers: Erica Fudge, Tom Tyler, Cary Wolfe, others TBC
Reporting in the journal PMLA on the emergence and consolidation of animal studies, Cary Wolfe drew attention to the role of the Millennial Animals conference, held in the School of English at the University of Sheffield in 2000, as a formative event in this interdisciplinary field. Seeking now to focus the diverse critical practice in animal studies, a second conference at Sheffield seeks to uncover the extent to which the discipline of English Studies now can and should be reimagined as the practice of reading animals.
This conference seeks to reflect and to extend the full range of critical methodologies, forms, canons and geographies current in English Studies; contributions are also most welcome from interested scholars in cognate disciplines. Reading Animals will be programmed to encourage comparative reflection on representations of animals and interspecies encounters in terms of both literary-historical period and overarching interpretive themes. As such, seven keynote presentations are planned; each will focus on how reading animals is crucial in the interpretation of the textual culture of a key period from the Middle Ages to the present. The conference will also feature a plenary panel of key scholars who will reflect on the importance when reading animals of thinking across periods and in thematic, conceptual and formal terms.
Papers should focus on the interpretation of textual animals at any date from the Middle Ages to the present. We seek submissions that read animals in relation to any writers/periods or in terms of the following indicative list of themes:
animals in genre (adventure; tragedy; classic realism; satire; comedy; epic; lyric; elegy; nature writing; non-fiction, criticism and polemic; detective/mystery; gothic; sf; children's literature; graphic novel)
animal genres (bestiary; fictionalised [auto-]biography; fairy tale; fable; allegory; didactic story; pet memoir)
*Arts, Aesthetics, Philosophies*
reading animals in theatre and performance, music, visual culture, film, dance, theory
*Ethics, Politics, Society*
intersections of species - race - ethnicity - disability - sex - gender - sexuality - class
animals as subjects and objects of historical interpretation; animal materialisms; post-anthropocentric literary and cultural history
*Science and Technology*
bio-engineering; technologies of animal use; narratives of meat/vivisection; ethology; biosemiotics and zoosemiotics
*Environments and Geographies*
empire and colonialism; politics and poetics of space; globalisation; zoo-heterotopias; extinctions
Abstracts for 20 minute papers (300 words) or pre-formed 3-paper panels (1000 words) are welcome by 19 December, 2013 from researchers at any stage of their career, including early career scholars and postgraduates. Please send by email to the conference convenors.