Posts from the “Events” Category

Symposium on the Ethics and Business of Thoroughbred Racing held in Germany

Posted on January 27th, 2016

It is about a year ago that the German publisher “Hippiatrika” had invited me onto their conference board to contribute to the planning of the German Equine Veterinary Symposium in 2015. It is not often that ‘the industry’ reaches out to animal studies scholars and I greatly appreciated the opportunity to play a part in this event. Hippiatrika holds their symposia on Equine Veterinary Medicine annually, and last year, the topic was “Business and Ethics of Racing and The Role of the Veterinarian” (Conference Brochure pdf 400KB). I had attended a seminar held by Racing Victoria of the same title in August 2014, and thus this seminar here in Victoria had unexpectedly provided inspiration across the globe to Germany. The Hippiatrika Symposium was held…

Minding Animals 3: New Delhi, India, 13-20 January 2015

Posted on August 12th, 2013

Raj Panjwani, India 's leading animal advocate - Keynote address at Minding Animals 2, Utrecht 4 July 2012

The third Minding Animals Conference will be held in New Delhi, India, 13-20 January 2015:

Building Bridges Between the Natural and Social Sciences, the Humanities and Wildlife Protection.

The host for the conference will be the Wildlife Trust of India, in collaboration with Jawaharlal
Nehru University (JNU)
. The conference will be held at JNU and other locations in New Delhi.
Call for Abstracts will open in early 2014.

Both photographs in this post: Raj Panjwani, India’s leading animal advocate and animal rights lawyer, presenting his keynote address at Minding Animals 2, Utrecht 4 July 2012

AASG Conference 2013

Posted on August 12th, 2013

The Australian Animal Studies Group (AASG) has held their 5th Biennial Conference on 8-10 July 2013 at the University of Sydney, entitled: Life in the Anthropocene. Keynote lectures can be viewed here.

ICAS Oceania: Critical Animal Studies Conference 2013 – Podcasts

Posted on August 12th, 2013

On 6 July 2013, ICAS Oceania held their first critical animal studies conference at the University of Canberra, Australia.

Podcasts of the one-day conference can be found here. Themes of the conference included Education and Animals, Film and Literature, Taking action, Approaches to change, Animals and Law.

Of particular interest in the current political Australian context is Professor Steve Garlick who gave a presentation under the theme Approaches to change. His talk was entitled Environmental Sustainability, Cognitive Justice and the Kangaroo. Steve is the founder, first and current president of the Animal Justice Party. The AJP will be standing candidates at the next Federal Election in Australia on 7 September 2013.

The Institute for Critical Animal Studies, ICAS, has currently seven regional offices: Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, Middle East, North America and Oceania. A summary of the aim and beliefs of ICAS can be found in their document Introducing Critical Animal Studies [pdf]. There they write:

The aim of the Institute for Critical Animal Studies (ICAS) is to provide a space for the development of a “critical” approach to animal studies, one which perceives that relations between human and nonhuman animals are now at a point of crisis which implicates the planet as a whole.

The term critical animal studies (CAS) has emerged from within animal rights and liberation academics and activists. They differentiate themselves from animal studies which they also refer to as “mainstream animal studies”. They regard the burgeoning field of animal studies as being “strangely detached from the dire plight of nonhuman animals, human beings, and the Earth.” They acknowledge that “scholars working in animal studies have made significant contributions to our understanding of the historical, sociological, and philosophical aspects of human/nonhuman animal relations.” But they argue that the animal studies approach has limitations and does not truly confront the most inhumane practices of animal exploitation such as can be found in industrial animal agriculture, vivisection and carnivorist lifestyles. They believe that the mainstream approach, in purporting to be objective, in fact supports animal exploitation. They argue that it is an illusion that “theory is disinterested or writing and research is nonpolitical”. Therefore, one of their interests is to expose the values and political commitments inherent in mainstream animal studies. Critical animals studies scholars seek an interdisciplinary collaborative approach including perspectives they believe are generally ignored by animal studies such as political economy. They align themselves with other struggles against any form of oppression and hierarchy, including struggles against racism, sexism, speciesism and militarism. They argue that all endeavours to overcome any form of exploitation of humans, nonhuman animals and the Earth are inseparable, referring to Martin Luther King Jr. who proclaimed that “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”

To fulfill their mission, ICAS has four programs:

1. Development – creating projects, initiatives, organisations, groups and academic departments and programs.
2. Scholarship – publishing position papers, journals, books and hosting forums such as conferences and lectures.
3. Advocacy – activism, outreach, publicity and networking.
4. Education – formal workshops, training, courses and classes.

They have developed a 3 part strategy addressing ecology, humans and nonhumans through holistic, intersectional and interdependent theory and activism:

Holistic – including all life and elements
Intersectional – acknowledging differing identities amongst all life and elements
Interdependent – respecting that all life and elements need one another

Institute of Critical Animal Studies Strategy

ICAS Strategy

Last edited 15.9.2013

Domesticity and Beyond: Living and Working with Animals – Symposium in Ontario

Posted on September 14th, 2012

The introduction to the event “DOMESTICITY AND BEYOND: Living and Working with Animals” is beautiful as it is evocative: “What do we owe the animals we live and work alongside…?” It is beautiful because just asking the question seems to open up the possibility of continuing, or creating anew, an ongoing relationship of living and working alongside animals, and of giving back and making up. But still, the answer is by far not clear whether we can or should, nor what nuances of possibilities there might be. The first paragraph of the announcement in full: “What do we owe the animals we live and work alongside, and those who are beyond our reach but inevitably affected by human decision-making? How can we move beyond…

Animals and Us – Course at the Schumacher College 18.-22.06.2012

Posted on April 7th, 2012

The ANIMALS AND US Course at the Schumacher College 18.-22. 06. 2012 is open for bookings. Teachers: Jonathan Balcombe (videolink), Marc Bekoff (videolink), Richard Ryder, Rachel Hevesi and Satish Kumar From New research shows that animals have very rich cognitive lives. They are smart, emotional and have moral sentiments. What does this new evidence mean in terms of animal ethics, rights and welfare? How do we adjust our attitudes towards other animals from an individual and societal perspective? And what can we learn about our own species, struggling to move to a more sustainable future? To investigate the history of our relationship with other animals from the days of cave painting through Ancient Egypt, the development of the great religions, the impact of…