Good morning, Monday readers! Today I want to share a call for papers I’ve been working on with my colleague and friend, Rosemary-Claire Collard — for a Critical Animal Geographies edited scholarly anthology. Please consider submitting an abstract for consideration and it would be great if you could spread the word if you’re so inclined!
Call for Contributors to Critical Animal Geographies edited volume
Fifteen years after the publication of the groundbreaking Animal Geographies (Wolch & Emel 1998), followed by Animal Spaces, Beastly Places (Philo & Wilbert 2000), a growing number of geographers now readily acknowledge the nonhuman animal as an important site of intellectual inquiry. Following the call to “bring the animals back in” to the discipline (Wolch & Emel 1995), animal geographers have taken up the project of “decentering the human in human geography” (Anderson 2013) by reckoning with the inescapable contingency of the human subject. This has yielded fascinating and important explorations of deeply constitutive human-animal relations and the spaces, traces, violences and practices that enable them and are left in their wake.
Since the “third wave” of animal geographies (Urbanik 2012) in the 1990s, billions of real animals have continued to service humans and capitalist accumulation as food, labourers, entertainment, clothing, biomedical research subjects, and companions. Human-animal relationships are fraught with complex dynamics of power and privilege involving the uneven appropriation of lives, labours and bodies across species, including humans. At the same time, humans and animals have an extraordinary capacity for engaging in inter-species relationships of mutual care, love, and companionship. These ambivalent material-semiotic entanglements between humans and animals are both at stake and implicated in contemporary ecological crises, bringing a critical urgency to the task of rethinking dominant orders (capitalist, species, juridico-political, scientific) that structure human-animal relations.
As geographers, we have just scratched the surface of academic inquiry into the rich and varied lives of animals, the ethical and political questions relating to human-animal relations, and the implications for thinking about alternative modes of being in this multispecies world. Critical human geography has traditionally aimed not merely to interpret and analyze the world, but to change it. In such a spirit, this edited volume makes a call for a distinct critical animal geography – one that interprets the complex plurality of human-animal relations, but does not stop there. Critical animal geographies interrogate structures of power and social inequality across species lines and presuppose a commitment to understanding and destabilizing the status quo and reimagining alternative visions of human-animal relations.
The aim of this edited volume is to feature cutting edge critical animal geographies research that radically rethinks how we conceptualize our relationship and responsibility to nonhuman animals. We are interested in empirical and theoretical engagements rooted in critical geographic research relating to animals and human-animal relations. We are also interested in fresh perspectives on methodological approach and on extending critical and radical theoretical framings to include animal geographies work. Chapters may include (but are not limited to) engagement with feminist/eco-feminist, political economy, post-humanist, cyborg/hybrid, anarchist, post-colonial, and queer literatures in order to envision a diverse set of epistemological, ontological and methodological perspectives on animals.
We ask that anyone interested in contributing to this Critical Animal Geographies volume submit a one page CV (including previous publications) and an abstract of no more than 500 words by June 1, 2013. If your abstract is selected for inclusion in the book, full chapters will be due February 1, 2014.
Anderson, Kay. 2013. “Mind over Matter? On Decentering the Human in Human Geography,” Annual Cultural Geographies Lecture, Annual Meeting of the Association of American Geographers, April 12.
Philo, Chris & Chris Wilbert. 2000. Animal Spaces, Beastly Places. Routledge.
Urbanik, Julie. 2012. Placing Animals. Rowman & Littlefield Publishers.
Wolch, Jennifer & Jody Emel. 1998. Animal Geographies. London: Verso.
Wolch, Jennifer & Jody Emel. 1995. Guest-edited issue: Bringing the animals back in. Environment & Planning D: Society and Space, 13(6).