Archive | June, 2017

Call for Abstracts

The Alfred Deakin Institute for Citizenship and Globalisation, Deakin University, and the ‘Sociology & Animals’ Thematic Group of TASA

are proud to co-host a two-day symposium

Development for Species: Animals in society, animals as society

Deakin University, Melbourne City campus, September 18-19, 2017

Extended Abstract deadline: August 4, 2017.

Nonhuman animals are typically marginalised by the anthropocentric focus of traditional scholarship in both development and sociology. As social scientists increasingly recognise nonhuman animals as critical members of society who co-produce ‘the social’ along with other animals, we are presented with the opportunity to consider nonhuman animals as more than passive companions, commodities or environmental resources. The Development for Species symposium aims to bring together scholars conducting research about, for, and/or with nonhuman animals.

We are interested in what provocations and implications the framing of animals as ‘social’ can open for development discourse and practices. Hitherto, development has been complicit in invisibilising sentient nonhuman animals in the name of development, and in the violent objectification of animals, especially those designated as ‘food’. In the Anthropocene, the geologic age where humans are believed to be significantly responsible for climate change, species destruction, and the sixth mass extinction, there is urgent need to understand ecological and social realities beyond only human worlds (Rose 2009). It is increasingly important to plan for species – including the humans as species (Blue 2015). However, in addition to the overwhelming concerns for planetary environmental sustainability, there are increasingly reasons to be cognisant of the violent impacts of development on the animals.

The symposium aims to introduce nonhuman species, particularly farmed animals, into the development discourse as stakeholders, and critical members of societies, rather than their current status as environmental/economic commodities in development. With the rise of human-animal scholarship, development scholars are increasingly recognising the importance of including non- human animals in our academic endeavours, and the urgency of studying animals as actors, as well as subjects of marginalisation in societies. Together with the mounting evidence that directly link animal agriculture to planetary catastrophes like climatic change, the impetus to examine the role of animals in our shared species ecological and social worlds is of growing urgency.

We seek abstracts in the areas including but not limited to:

Urban/rural sociologies and animals
Religion, culture and animals
‘Food’ and sociology of farmed/production animals
Sociology of relationships and animals
Sexual Politics of Meat – gendered violence in animal farming Companion Animals and society
Poverty and animal rights
Democracy and nonhuman animals
Activism and animals
Developing species inclusive spaces
Challenging anthropocentrism in research

Presentations are to be 20mins in duration. Please send your 200-300 word abstracts to both zoei.sutton@flinders.edu.au & y.narayanan@deakin.edu.au by August 4th 2017.

A special issue of a leading journal like Society and Animals, or Journal of Development Studies is planned for the symposium.

Travel scholarships: With the support of TASA, the Sociology & Animals Thematic Group will be offering 3 scholarships to postgraduate, casually employed or unwaged staff valued at $300 each. Potential scholarship winners will need to be registered TASA members & located outside of Melbourne. If you wish to be considered for a postgraduate scholarship please indicate this in the same email as your abstract submission.

Continue Reading

About Us

The Sociology and Animals Thematic Group aims to contribute to the idea of nonhuman animals as critical members, and stakeholders in societies, who co-produce ‘the social’ along with humans and other nonhumans. With the rise of human-animal scholarship, sociologists are increasingly recognising the importance of including non-human animals in our academic endeavours, and the urgency of studying animals as actors, as well as subjects of marginalisation in societies. The aim of the Sociology and Animals Thematic Group is to create a supportive network of scholars working in human-animal studies, critical animal studies and/or other animal-related areas to facilitate the exchange of ideas, critical discussion and coordination of relevant academic events.

Our primary objectives are to:

  • Critically consider the role of animals in society and highlight the necessity of their inclusion in Sociology;
  • Encourage scholarship which decentre the inherent anthropocentrism in sociology, and expand its ambit of recognition to nonhumans; and
  • Provide an avenue for animal scholars to network and present research to their peers within the discipline of Sociology.

We welcome all scholars conducting sociological research about, for, and/or with nonhuman animals.

Continue Reading