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Post/hum/anti/animal/ities: or, why the humanities need animals (but we don't need them)

Thursday 18 February 2016, 5.30PM to 7.00pm

Speakers: Dr David Orton (Archaeology), Dr Nicola Mcdonald (English), Dr Erica Sheen (English)Dr Bob McKay (University of Sheffield), Chair: Prof. Jason Edwards (History of Art). 

An HRC Lightning Rods event

A report on the environmental impacts of consumption and production commissioned by the UN in 2010 recommended a 'substantial world-wide diet change away from animal products'. What's the relationship between factory farming and university education? If there is a direct connection between environmental sustainability and what the Vegan Society describes as 'true compassion to animals', how is it expressed in the critical principles that underpin teaching and research in the humanities? Or indeed in the way we live our private and public lives under the intellectual regime of our individual 'disciplines'? Why don't we have sex with animals and eat each other? Is the conception of human rights fundamentally speciesist?

This Lightning Rods session poses the crucial question of animals in and beyond the humanities. We begin our debate with a challenge: if every aspect of social and cultural history is not merely incomplete but damaged, to the degree that it does not incorporate a critical analysis of humanimal relations, do the humanities face the inevitability of extinction, or slaughter? Should they give way, dis/gracefully, to a new theoretical über-species: critical animal studies?
Please see Humanities Research Centre website for further details.

Location: Treehouse, Humanities Research Centre, Berrick Saul Building, Heslington West Campus

Admission: All welcome, admission free