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Call for Proposals

  1. Felicia Trembath

    We are pleased to share this call for proposals for the 1st Global Conference: Making Sense of: The Animal and Human Bond, which will take place Sunday 13th July – Tuesday 15th July 2014 at Mansfield College in Oxford, United Kingdom. Call for Presentations

    This interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary conference invites an exploration of the concept or notion of “animal” in its own right and as visa a vis “human.” While humans are clearly classed as part of the animal world, we have a long and sometimes questionable history of both differentiating ourselves from animals and at the same time identifying ourselves with specific animals or unique animals’ qualities. The distinction-identification processes have manifested itself since the beginning of human history, when people started to draw images on cave’s well (35000-50000 years ago). In those first images people described wild animals which were present in their environment and their relationship with those animals and only then, they were able to describe the human figures as independent idea. The domestication of the first animals- dogs (+/- 15000 years ago) and other animals as following to it, contributed to this dual process as well. On the one side controlling the animals is a process of declaring the differences between human-animal species but on the other side, it is also a way to express hidden desires that maintain the wild sides of the human being. Both process developed with civilizations, social rules and regulations and has made possible the very survival of the human species but has also offered us inspiration and deep bonds which manifest themselves in our relationships with the animals around us. From the image of the divine Ganesh (the elephant god of Hinduism) to the billion dollar pet industry to the role of animals in our lives as commodities—food, clothing, and tools—we find human culture intimately connected to the animal world. And yet we have but a dim sense of what that world entails. This conference invites scholars from across disciplines to reflect upon the meaning of animals in our lives and in their own lives.

    The Mythic Animal

    -Role of animals in tribal societies

    -The animal as sacred

    -Images of animals as source of the evil and of the divine

    -Good animal/bad animal?

    -Animals in rituals

    The Animal/Human Relationship: The Pet

    -The case against pets

    -Pets as: substitutes for people, instruments for people

    -Pets and human health; effects on well-being, mental situations, quality of life, disease, physical, ownership and health,

    -Pets and human’s life cycle: what we are looking for at each stage….

    -Pets and their effect on the living environment.

    -Humane pets and inhuman people

    -Animal abuse/animal use

    The Animal/Human Relationship: Pets, Agricultural Animals, and Wild Animals

    -Who gets the best deal?

    -History of the 3 groups

    -Differences in regulation and ethics codes

    -Ethnics or cultural differences

    Animal Rights/ Animal Welfare/ Animal Tools

    -The commodification of animals

    -Human vs. animal: points of conflict

    -Regulation on animals’ rights

    -What makes the wild into the domestic?

    -What do we owe animals?

    -Training animals vs. dominating animals?

    -Animals as entertainment: zoos, circuses, rodeos

    -Endangered animals

    -Hunting/fishing/livestock: animals as sustaining force for humankind

    Animals as Analogies/As Clues

    -Animals and medical/scientific research

    -Animal societies: kinship, family, friends

    -Symbolic animals: the animal in literature art, rituals

    -Research on animals’ social behavior and how does it relate to us

    In addition to individual submissions the Steering Group also welcomes the submission of pre-formed panel proposals.

    In order to support and encourage interdisciplinarity engagement, it is our intention to create the possibility of starting dialogues between the parallel events running during this conference. Delegates are welcome to attend up to two sessions in each of the concurrent conferences. We also propose to produce cross-over sessions between these groups – and we welcome proposals which deal with the relationship between Environmental Justice and Visions of Humanity and the Animal and Human Bond.

    What to Send

    Proposals will also be considered on any related theme. 300 word proposals should be submitted by Friday 14th February 2014. If a proposal is accepted for the conference, a full draft paper of no more than 3000 words should be submitted by Friday 16th May 2014. Proposals should be submitted simultaneously to both Organising Chairs; abstracts may be in Word or RTF formats with the following information and in this order:

    a) author(s), b) affiliation as you would like it to appear in programme, c) email address, d) title of proposal, e) body of proposal, f) up to 10 keywords.

    E-mails should be entitled: Animals 1 Proposal Submission.

    Please use plain text (Times Roman 12) and abstain from using footnotes and any special formatting, characters or emphasis (such as bold, italics or underline). We acknowledge receipt and answer to all proposals submitted. If you do not receive a reply from us in a week you should assume we did not receive your proposal; it might be lost in cyberspace! We suggest, then, to look for an alternative electronic route or resend.

    Organising Chairs

    Tamar Axelrad-Levy and Wendy Turgeon:" rel="external">tamar&

    Rob Fisher:" rel="external">a&

    The conference is part of the Making Sense of: series of ongoing research and publications projects conferences, run within the Probing the Boundaries domain which aims to bring together people from different areas and interests to share ideas and explore innovative and challenging routes of intellectual and academic exploration. All proposals accepted for and presented at the conference must be in English and will be eligible for publication in an ISBN eBook. Selected proposals may be developed for publication in a themed hard copy volume(s). All publications from the conference will require editors, to be chosen from interested delegates from the conference.

    Inter-Disciplinary.Net believes it is a mark of personal courtesy and professional respect to your colleagues that all delegates should attend for the full duration of the meeting. If you are unable to make this commitment, please do not submit an abstract for presentation.

    For further details of the conference, please visit:

    Please note: Inter-Disciplinary.Net is a not-for-profit network and we are not in a position to be able to assist with conference travel or subsistence.

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