Fellow Travelers: An Animal Studies Conference

Wesleyan University

 Sponsored by Animals and Society Institute (ASI) and Wesleyan Animal Studies (WAS)


Thursday, September 29: Usdan 300 (Daniel Family Commons)

5:30 Opening and Welcome from ASI Margo DeMello and Ken Shapiro from WAS Lori Gruen and Kari Weil

6:00 Exhibit and Presentation: Usdan 300 (Daniel Family Commons)

Sights and Sounds: Traversing Senses of the Animal

Chair:  Margo DeMello (Human-Animal Studies Director, Animals & Society Institute)

Zeb Tortorici (Assistant Professor of Spanish and Portuguese, New York University) will display stereoscopes for the audience to look through, as he discusses and complicates the ways that humans popularly viewed and consumed representations of nonhuman animals through this device.

Gunnar Theodór Eggertsson (Comparative Literature, University of Iceland) will invite the audience to join him in playing the survival game Shelter, as he demonstrates how it has broken ground in the way gamers can embody another animal and explore the subjective world of the environment.

Ann Marie Thornburg (PhD Student, University of Notre Dame, Department of Anthropology) and Erica Tom (PhD candidate, American Studies, Rutgers) will follow their commitment to writing with and creating with animals to curate a visual-aural experience for the audience. Ruminating on their projects, centered upon the companion relationships of canine-human and equine-human, respectively—these scholar/artists will walk and talk viewers through a photographic, poetic installation.

Friday, September 30: Usdan 110

9:00 Multispecies Medicine: Valuing more than human contributions to health and wellbeing

Chair:  Fran Bartkowski (Professor of English, Rutgers University)

Rob Kirk (Lecturer in Medical History and Humanities, University of Manchester): “Multispecies Medicine: The Historical Emergence of Therapeutic Animals”Mathew Andrews (PhD Candidate, History of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of Manchester):  “Scavengers in Wound Care: Figured Maggots in the Work of W.S. Baer, 1928-1931”

Laura Stark (Assistant Professor, Center for Medicine, Health and Society, Vanderbilt University): “Cultures of Medicine: How the Birds of Bali Hatched the Postwar ‘Culture Concept’”

10:30 Five Minute Break

Neil Pemberton (Research Fellow, History of Science, University of Manchester): “Whose Park Is It Anyway? Health, Filth and the Multi-Species Politics of Dog-Walking In Modern Britain”

Jenny R. Vermilya (Assistant Professor of Sociology, University of North Georgia):  “The Caring Killing Paradox: ‘Segmented’ Collective Identity Work in the Tracking System of Veterinary Medical Education”

11:40 Lunch (on your own)

1:00  Animals and Biopower

Chair: Megan Glick (Assistant Professor of American Studies, Wesleyan University)

Jonathan L. Clark (Assistant Professor, Sociology, Ursinus College): “Environing the Enviropig” 

Jan Dutkiewicz (PhD candidate, Politics, New School): “Porcine Arbitrage: Financialized Life and the Biopolitics of Value”

Richie Nimmo (Lecturer in Sociology,University of Manchester): “The Mechanical Calf: On the Making of a Biopolitical Machine” (skype)

2:30 Break

3:00 Death and Extinction

Chair:  Susan McHugh (Professor of English, University of New England) 

Kelly Enright (Assistant Professor of Public History, Flagler College): “Remembering Nature: Memorials and Monuments to Extinct Species”

Joshua Russell (Assistant Professor, Anthrozoology, Canisius College): “Children's Multi-Species Matrices of Precariousness”

Krithika Srinivasan (Lecturer in Geography, University of Edinburgh): “Biopolitical conservation in the Anthropocene”

4:30 Speciesism and its Discontents

Chair:  Katie Gillespie (Animal Studies Post-Doctoral Fellow, Wesleyan University)

Robert Jones (Associate Professor, Philosophy, California State University, Chico): “Is Veganism Speciesist or Exterminist?”

Zipporah Weisberg (Independent Scholar): “From Speciesism to Solidarity?” (skype)

Christiane Bailey (PhD Candidate, Philosophy, University of Montreal) : “Two Kinds of Moral Communities: Moral Agency in Humans and Other Social Animals”

Saturday, October 1: Usdan 300 (Daniel Family Commons)

9:00 The Future of Captive Wildlife

Chair:  Lori Gruen (Professor of Philosophy and FGSS, Wesleyan University)

Delcianna Winders (Fellow, Harvard Animal Law & Policy Program):   “Captivity, Welfare, Conservation, and the Law”

Catherine Doyle (Director of Science, Research and Advocacy, Performing Animal Welfare Society): “Elephants and the Impossibilities of Captivity”

Elan Abrell (Lecturer, Anthropology, CUNY):  “Cutting Ties: The Possibilities and Limits of Disentangling Captive Animals from Animal-Based Consumption Regimes”

11:30 Break

11:45 Living with Animals

 Chair:  Kari Weil (Professor, College of Letters, Wesleyan University)

 Jeanette Samyn (Center for the Humanities Post Doctoral Fellow, Wesleyan University): “The Politics of Parasitism”

 Elizabeth Cherry (Associate Professor, Sociology, Manhattanville College):  “Backyard Birds and the Politics of Wilderness”

 Karla Armbruster (Associate Professor, English, Webster University): “Our Feral Future”

1:15 Lunch (on your own)

2:30 Findings from the 2015 Animal Studies Survey

Chair:  Kenneth Shapiro (President of the Board, Animals & Society Institute)

Siobhan O’Sullivan (Lecturer, School of Social Sciences, University of New South Wales): “The trials and tribulations of Animal Studies'

Fiona Probyn-Rapsey (Senior Lecturer, Gender and Cultural Studies, The University of Sydney): “ ’So, what brings you to Animal Studies?’”

Yvette Watt (Lecturer, Painting and Drawing, University of Tasmania): “Examining the Relationship Between Animal Studies and Animal Advocacy”


4:00 End of Conference


Co-Sponsored by the Allbritton Center for the Study of Public Life, the College of Letters, the Philosophy Department, and the College of the Environment.