Bob Barker Named Honorary Fellow of Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics

David Cassuto

From the email: A richly deserved honor for Bob Barker:


The Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics has selected multi Emmy award winning television personality, philanthropist, and educational pioneer, Bob Barker, as its sixth Honorary Fellow. The award is given to outstanding individuals who have made exceptional contributions to the protection of animals.

The Centre is an international academy of scholars pioneering ethical perspectives on animals through academic research, teaching, and publication. It is the first Centre of its kind in the world and has already established a new book series on animal ethics (with Palgrave Macmillan) and is shortly to launch a new Journal of Animal Ethics with the University of Illinois Press.

Barker has pioneered the teaching of animal law in the United States by generously endowing America’s top law schools including Harvard, Stanford, UCLA, Northwestern, Duke, Georgetown, Virginia and Columbia. He endowed a chair in animal rights at Drury University (his own alma mater) in 2008. These endowments have enabled for the first time hundreds of university students to study animal law and ethics.        Continue reading

“Sex, Gender and Species” Conference at Wesleyan University

David Cassuto

This interdisciplinary conference looks like it will be mighty good.

  • Wesleyan University will be hosting a conference called “Sex, Gender and Species” on February 25 and 26, 2011. The purpose of this conference is to foreground the relations between feminist and animal studies and to examine the real and theoretical problems that are central to both fields of inquiry. Conference organizers Lori Gruen and Kari Weil are seeking 1-2 page abstracts by October 1, 2010. Abstracts can be sent to or

Animal Scholarship Opportunity in Social Text

Call for Papers: Special Issue of Social Text


We are soliciting papers for a special issue of Social Text titled SPECIES.  The past decade has witnessed the emergence and crystallization of a field of scholarship hailed as “Animal Studies” or alternatively, the “Post-human turn.”  While this relatively novel formulation reflects a self-conscious interest in animals, it also intersects with longstanding forms of humanistic and social science research on animals that preceded the articulation of an animal-centered field of research.
Inter/disciplinary approaches toward and investments in the study of animals based in philosophy, literature, anthropology, postcolonial studies, history, to name a few—probe a range of critical positions.  Many studies in this field are interested in relations between humans and animals, often interrogating human/animal distinctions in order to de-center humans as ur-subject.  This special issue of Social Text in part will query this trend and thereby the transparency of this human-animal divide and where and how it gets marked; as well as the intellectual instrumentalizing of animals in order to understand humans, which often result in anthropomorphizing of animals through an accordance of “agency”
and “rights”; and will also pursue a potential “post-human” interest in animals in and of themselves.

Our aim for this issue is to map some of the above tendencies while at the same time charting the relatively unknown parameters of this rapidly evolving field. Crucial to our project is an emphasis on both geographical as well as species diversity.  Though there are notable exceptions, their exists a current Euro -American trend in animal studies as well as its tendency to focus on domesticated animals without thoroughly investigating how distinctions between domesticated and non-domesticated animals arise historically and geographically. These are tendencies we seek to disrupt.
Possible themes that submissions may address include:

•    the unsettling of taxonomies of scale and hierarchies of scientific
knowledge across species; heavily trafficked and policed boundaries between humans, animals, and other life forms.

•    animals and intimacy/affection/love/disgust.

•    primates, insect studies, parasites, bacteria, and other forms of
living that challenge the presumed stability and impermeability of human bodies as somehow separate from animals or separate from non-human animals (incompanionate species).

•    pets as neoliberal projects; animals as laborers, producers, consumed
and consumers; domestication as global phenomenon.

•    animals as ubiquitous but also geographically singular and wondrous;
place and species familiarity.

•    animals we ‘live’ with–interrogation of the category ‘domestic’ animal.

•    nature/nuture; animals as ‘natural”; animals as biological proxy for
research (like us, but not like us); use of animals in biotechnology; cloning.

•    animal demography; biopolitics and population construction; the rise
and demise of species.

In addition to standard academic essays, we are open to alternative forms for submissions such as comics, poetry, short fiction, review essays, photo-essays and images (pending production approval).  Essays should be no longer than 8000 words.

Deadline for submission of full essay/contribution is June 1, 2009, though the co-editors of this issue (Jasbir Puar and Julie Livingston) are happy to review abstracts beforehand.  Submissions should be emailed to both editors at and