Of Victorian Interest

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Of Victorian Interest

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CFP: Consuming Animals Conference (12/14/2016; 3/17-18/2017)

animalsConsuming Animals Conference
March 17-18, 2017
University of York, UK

Keynote speakers: Prof. Diana Donald, Prof. Timothy Morton

This two-day interdisciplinary conference is designed to bring together those in the humanities whose work explores “humanimal” relations during the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. In particular, it seeks to investigate the various, and often ambiguous, ways in which animals were consumed by humans symbolically and materially. Through various methods of consumption, typically characterised by exploitation and violence, human society and accepted definitions of what it means to be human, have nevertheless been fundamentally shaped by animals. Whether on the end of a gourmand’s fork or a whaler’s harpoon, on the lap of an aristocrat or by the side of a beggar, conjured as majestic and wild by the artist’s brush or as haggard and caged by the eyes of the menagerie visitor, in private homes and city streets, in the artistic or literary imagination, the bodies of animals (alive or dead) were ubiquitous during this period. Indeed, they provided both the fashionable feather and the faithful companion; they were, simultaneously, consumed, feared, defended, caged and loved. The minds of Georgians and Victorians were filled with treacherous tigers and devoted dogs with whom they forged complex relationships and encounters – and to whom they were much more than mere material bodies.

Conference themes include, but are not limited to, the following topics:

  • Violence and Killing
  • Food
  • Sentience
  • Commodification
  • Science, Evolution and Vivisection
  • Hunting
  • Imperialism and Exploration
  • Confinement and Exhibition
  • Art, Film, Literature and Music
  • Animal welfare and animal rights
  • Gender, Race, Sexuality, Religion, and Class
  • Proposals are invited for short papers (20 minutes). Abstracts of up to 250 words, along with a short 50 word bio should be sent to consuminganimals2017@gmail.com by December 14, 2016. For more information, please visit: https://consuminganimalsconference2017.wordpress.com/.

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