Life with and without animals: the second (Un)common worlds conference
AffiliationUniversity of Derby
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AbstractKeynote speakers: Dr. Susan McHugh, Professor of English, University of New England and Snæbjörnsdóttir/Wilson - Dr Bryndís Snæbjörnsdóttir, Professor of Fine Art, Iceland University of the Arts, Reykjavík, and, Dr Mark Wilson, Professor of Fine Art, Institute of the the Arts, University of Cumbria, UK. Following the first (Un)common Worlds conference in Turku, Finland in 2018, called Contesting the Limits of Human – Animal Communities, the animal research group within the Digital and Material Artistic Research Centre at the University of Derby presented the second, Life With and Without Animals, a one-day online animal studies conference in November 2020. When the term ‘animal studies’ was coined in the early 1990s it was initially envisaged rather narrowly as a subfield of the social sciences, but by the time of two large and ground-breaking international conferences in 2000 – Representing Animals in Milwaukee and Millennial Animals in Sheffield – it was clear that the arts and humanities were at least as important to this nascent field as the social sciences. Some of the concerns of those early conferences remain as important as ever: the avoidance of anthropocentrism, an attention to the lives and experience of nonhuman animals that does not reduce them to symbolic representations of human values, and a recognition of the contested but necessary role of animal advocacy within the field of animal studies. Other priorities have shifted, perhaps most importantly in recognition of the impact of climate change, environmental degradation and species extinctions, and the changes these have brought about to our understanding of, and engagement with the more-than-human world. This conference conveyed a sense of what the interdisciplinary field of animal studies looked like in 2020, and included contributions in support of this proposal. Originally planned as a three-day physical conference for July 2020, this was rescheduled and re-orientated for online delivery over a day in November 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. A recording of the day is attached to this record. Conference leads: Professor Steve Baker and Professor Angela Bartram.
CitationBaker, S. and Bartram, A. (2020) ‘Life with and without animals: the second (Un)common worlds conference'. University of Derby, Online, 7 November.
PublisherUniversity of Derby
TypeMeetings and Proceedings
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