Human Rights and Animal Ethics Research Network (HRAE) is an interdisciplinary network, whose major objective is to play a leading role in the new global field of Human-Animal Studies (HAS) that has achieved international prominence in the past two decades.
HRAE brings together academics from a range of disciplines including the arts, science, law, philosophy and politics. HRAE sees the question of justice for human and nonhuman animals as intimately related to key issues such as the quality of life for all, justice, climate change, species extinction, sustainability and the future of the planet.
Justice Michael Kirby officially launched HRAE on 15 March 2013 to a large gathering of people from the University and the general public. Justice Kirby spoke of his personal commitment to justice for animals. The launch was held at the Melbourne Law School. Other speakers included Dr Alasdair Cochrane (University of Sheffield), who spoke on human and animal rights, Ms Jenny Gray (CEO, Zoos Victoria) who spoke on species extinction and the importance of conservation, and Professor Barbara Creed (Director of HRAE) who discussed the relationship between human rights and animal ethics. Dr Siobhan O'Sullivan, a leading advocate for animal justice, chaired the event.
HRAE supports the view of Nobel-prize winning scientist Paul Crutzen that we have entered a new age, called the Anthropocene, which humans have created, that is, human activities have exerted a profound and possibly lasting impact on the Earth's ecosystems and by implication all forms of life on the planet. HRAE believes that the question of social justice for all species is now a central issue in the Age of the Anthropocene.
Finally, HRAE believes that both ethics and empathy are closely intertwined and together play a crucial role in the struggle for justice for all creatures - human and nonhuman. Ethics alone cannot help us to determine how we should live. Empathy for all living creatures is also crucial in determining the way in which we engage with the world and its myriad of life-forms.
HRAE focuses on research into the educational, legal, social and cultural transformations taking place globally in response to the most recent scientific and ecological findings concerning Human-Animal Studies.
The following topics are of central importance:
- the common evolutionary history of human and non-human animals
- increasing evidence for the shared identities (physiological, cultural, emotional, ethical) of human and non-human animals
- the common exploitation and interrelated sufferings and oppressions of human and non-human animals
- consequences for humanity and the planet of species extinction, industrial production and live export
- the social, cultural and economic importance of well-being for all species as well as animals and tourism
- the key role currently being played by zoos, wildlife parks and natural history museums in relation to public awareness of human/animal issues
- the possibility we are entering a new geological era called the Anthropocence, which is characterised by the impact of human activity on the world and its inhabitants
Current research projects
Empathy and Evolution: The History of Emotions and the Literary and Visual Representation of Animals
The hypothesis of this project is that, whereas emotion was once thought to distinguish human from animal, emotion has become a key factor uniting human and non-human animals. This project will investigate the above proposition through an analysis of the ways in which humans have perceived and represented emotions in animals in cultural discourses from the 18th century to the present. This is an ARC funded Discovery Research Project.
Understanding the Anthropocence
This project explores the possibility we are entering a new age termed the Anthropocence that is an epoch which has been created by human intervention and which has profound implications for all species.
Zoos in the Twenty-First century
This project explores the role of zoos and wildlife parks in promoting public knowledge about animals and their emotions, human/animal relationships species extinction and conservation.
Animals: Building the Nation
This project explores the role played by non-human animals in the historical creation of nations and the wider creation of a civilized world.
Animals, Public Policy and Civil Disobedience
Animal Welfare in China
The Animal Welfare in China research project offers critical insights into the state and visibility of animals in China, the debate surrounding their welfare, the context for policy change, and the country's emerging animal protection legal framework. Through analysis of the proposed animal protection law and anticruelty law, the researchers seek to identify the features of Chinese animal welfare legislations, and to critique the similarities and differences in state-sponsored animal protection between China and countries with more established policy frameworks.
Natalie Rose Dyer
See below for select publications and presentations by HRAE members.
Monographs and edited books
- Creed, Barbara. Stray: Human-Animal Ethics in the Anthropocene, Power Publications, 2017
- Garner, Robert and O'Sullivan, Siobhan (eds.,). The Political Turn in Animal Ethics, Rowman & Littlefield, 2016
- Hoorn, Jeanette (ed.,). Reframing Darwin: Evolution and Art in Australia. Melbourne: Miegunyah Imprint, Melbourne University Press, 2009
- Johnston, Jay and Probyn-Rapsey, Fiona (eds.,). Animal Death. Sydney: Sydney University Press, 2013
- O'Sullivan, Siobhan. Animals Equality and Democracy. London: Palgrave Macmillan, 2011
- Tait, Peta. Fighting Nature: Travelling menageries, animal acts and war shows. Sydney University Press, 2016
Refereed journal articles scholarly chapters
- Creed, Barbara and Reesink, Maarten (guest eds.) (2015) 'Animals' Special Section, NECSUS - European Journal of Media Studies Spring 2015
- Creed, Barbara (2015) "Maitresse: pornography, ritual and the question of the ritual," in Coleman, Lindsay (ed.,). Sex and Storytelling. London: Routledge
- Creed, Barbara (2015) "Equus: ecstasy, therapy and the animal," in Huskinson, L. and Waddell, T. (eds.). Eavesdropping: The Psychotherapist in Film and Television. London: Routledge, pp. 67-80
- Creed, Barbara (2014) "Films, gestures, species," in Chare, Nicholas and Watkins, Liz (eds.,). Journal for Cultural Research. Taylor and Francis 14 (3), June 2014, pp. 1-13
- Creed, Barbara (2014) "The Elephant's Graveyard: Spectres of the Abyss," in Papastergiadis, Nikos and Lynn, Victoria (eds.,). Art in the Global Present. Sydney: UTS ePress, pp. 216-240
- Creed, Barbara (2014) "Evolution, Extinction and the Eco-Trauma Film, Darwin's Nightmare (2014) and A Zed & Two Noughts (1985)," in Narine, Anil (ed.,). Eco-Trauma Cinema. London: Routledge, pp. 25-45
- Creed, Barbara (2014) "Animals Deaths on Screen: Film & Ethics," in Relations: Beyond Anthropocentrism, 'Minding Animals: Part 1', 2 (1), 2014, pp. 15-31
- Creed, Barbara (2013) "Nenette: Film Theory, Animals, and Boredom," in Necsus: European Journal of Media Studies 3 (Spring): np
- Hoorn, Jeanette and Creed, Barbara (2015) "Abject Art and the Animal," in Chare, Nicholas and Arya, Rina (eds.,). Abject Visions. Manchester: Manchester University Press
- McCausland, C., O'Sullivan, S. and Brenton, S. (2013) "Trespass, Animals and Democratic Engagement," in Res Publica 19(3), pp. 205-221
- O'Sullivan, S., Grey, J., Creed, B. (2014) ""Low down dirty rat": popular and moral responses to urban wildlife living in suburban Melbourne," in Relations: Beyond Anthropocentrism 2(2)
- Ross, S., and O'Sullivan, S. (2013) "The World Trade Organisation (WTO)," in Linzey, A. (ed.,). The Global Guide to Animal Protection. University of Illinois Press
- Creed, Barbara (2015) "Skin: Science Fiction, Perversion and Animal/ Human Entanglements," Deletion/ Deviation: The Perversions of Science Fiction, symposium, Deakin University.
- Creed, Barbara (2014) "Animals, Empathy and Mental Illness," Try Walking in My Shoes: Empathy & Portrayals of Mental Illness on Screen, The University of Melbourne.
- Creed, Barbara (2013) "Apes & Elephants: Modernity, Zoos and the Search for Sensation," Centre for Modernism Studies in Australia, University of New South Wales
- Creed, Barbara (2013) "In Search of Sensation in the Tropical Imaginary," Tropics of the Imagination Conference, James Cook University
- Creed, Barbara (2013) "Animate/Inanimate - the First Zoos," Animate/Inanimate Symposium, Healesville Sanctuary
- Mowson, Lynn (2017) Dear Dairy conference, University of Canterbury
- O'Sullivan, Siobhan (2013) "Seeing is Believing: Nonhuman Animals and Liberal Democracies," AASG@Sydney: Life in the Anthropocene, The University of Sydney
- Brenton, S., McCausland, C. and O'Sullivan, S. (2013) "Piracy, animals and democratic engagement: The limits of civil disobedience at sea," Australian Political Studies Association (APSA) Conference. Murdoch University
- Hopgood, Fincina (2014) ""Laugh Along with Me": using comedy and autobiography to create empathy for mental illness on screen," Try Walking in My Shoes: Empathy & Portrayals of Mental Illness on Screen. The University of Melbourne.
- Mowson, Lynn (2016) Empathic Udder-ness: Witnessing and the Traumatic Imagination. Animaladies, The University of Sydney
- Mowson, Lynn, Pyke, S. and Singer, H. (2016) Performing Response-abilties: fleshy encounters in a time of ecological crisis. Performance Climates PsI #22, The University of Melbourne
- Mowson, Lynn (2015) Who witnesses for the Other? AASA 2015 Conference, Animal Publics: Emotions, Empathy and Activism, The University of Melbourne
Knowledge Transfer in Print and Speaking Engagements
- Hopgood, Fincina (2014) "Empathy and Portrayals of Mental Illness on Screen: Fincina Hopgood and Edwin Rutsch," Center for Building a Culture of Empathy
- McCausland, Clare and O'Sullivan, Siobhan (2014) "Drones, animals and the right to know: an Australian perspective, Centre for Animals and Social Justice
- McCausland, Clare and O'Sullivan, Siobhan (2013) "Queensland cattle crisis: animal welfare or the environment?" The Conversation
- McCausland, Clare (2013) "United Nations Declaration on Animal Welfare: Why not rights?" Regarding Rights
- O'Sullivan, Siobhan (2015) "New laws could stop revelations of animal abuse," Sydney Morning Herald
- O'Sullivan, Siobhan and Wadiwel, Dinesh (2014) "We have animal welfare laws but they don't stop the suffering," The Conversation
- O'Sullivan, Siobhan (2014) "Live animal export laws are useless without enforcement," The Conversation
- O'Sullivan, Siobhan (2014) "Animal welfare in Victoria: the death of two racing horses raises questions," The Guardian
- O'Sullivan, Siobhan (2014) ""Ag-gag" laws: The battle for animal welfare is a battle over information," The Guardian
- O'Sullivan, Siobhan and McCausland, Clare (2013) "Civil disobedience in support of animals to progress social change," The Voice 9(5)
- O'Sullivan, Siobhan (2013) "Why human suffering and animal welfare are the one issue," The Conversation
Knowing Animals Reading Group - 29 October 2018 - 'Transparency and the Factory Farm'
This month we meet to discuss Jan Dutkiewicz's 2018 paper "Transparency and the Factory Farm." Gastronomica: The Journal of Critical Food Studies. 18(2): 19-32. The article is freely available online at: http://www.jandutkiewicz.com/publications/ (just click on the title of the article and it will download). Dutkiewicz will be speaking at the Animaladies II conference later this year at the University of Wollongong - you can check out the program here: http://www.uowblogs.com/asrn/events/animaladies-program/).Where: The Linkway, L4, John Medley Building (Building 191), The University of MelbourneWhen: 5.30-6.30pm, Monday 29th October, 2018All welcome, please join us for the discussionNews
Knowing Animals Reading Group - November 26, 2018 - 'Witnessing Animal Others'
The last session of the Knowing Animals Reading Group for 2018 will discuss Kathryn Gillespie's 'Witnessing Animal Others: Bearing Witness, Grief, and the Political Function of Emotion', Hypatia: A Journal of Feminist Philosophy, Vol. 31, Issue 3, Summer 2016.Where: The Linkway, L4, John Medley Building (Building 191), The University of MelbourneWhen: 5.30-6.30pm, Monday 26th November, 2018All welcome, please join us for the discussionNews
Knowing Animals Reading Group September 24 - 'Bodily Encounter, Bearing Witness'
The discussion on Monday 24 September will focus on Alex Lockwood's 'Bodily Encounter, Bearing Witness and the Engaged Activism of the Global Save Movement', Animal Studies Journal, 7(1), 2018, 104-126. The article is freely available online at: https://ro.uow.edu.au/asj/vol7/iss1/6. Alex will be speaking at the Animaladies II conference later this year at the University of Wollongong - you can check out the program here: http://www.uowblogs.com/asrn/events/animaladies-program/). As I will be overseas, Sue Pyke has kindly offered to host the discussion - thanks Sue.Where: The Linkway, L4, John Medley Building (Building 191), The University of MelbourneWhen: 5.30-6.30pm, Monday 24th September, 2018All welcome, please join us for the discussionNews
Knowing Animals Reading Group August 27 'Real Artificial'
The discussion on Monday 27 August will continue our exploration into the relationship between animals and biotechnology. This time through McHugh's consideration of the artistic work of Oron Catts and Ionat Zurr and the creative writing of Margaret Atwood. The reading is Susan McHugh's "Real Artificial: Tissue-Cultured Meat, Genetically Modified Farm Animals, and Fictions." Configurations 18 (1) (Winter) pp.181-197,2010.Where: The Linkway, L4, John Medley Building (Building 191), The University of MelbourneWhen: 5.30-6.30pm, Monday 27th August, 2018All welcome, please join us for the discussionNews
Knowing Animals Reading Group July 2018 'Animal Bodies, Colonial Subjects'
Dr Gonzalo Villanueva and Jess Ison will be leading the reading group discussion, on Monday 30 July, with the reading 'Animal Bodies, Colonial Subjects: (Re)Locating Animality in Decolonial Thought' by Billy-Ray Belcourt in Societies 5, no.1 (2014) 1-22. The article is freely available at: http://www.mdpi.com/2075-4698/5/1/Where: The Linkway, L4, John Medley Building (Building 191), The University of MelbourneWhen: 5.30-6.30pm, Monday 30th July, 2018All welcome, please join us for the discussionNews
Knowing Animals Reading Group May 28 - 'Chewing Over In Vitro Meat'
This reading group we continue our thematic focus on flesh/meat/morality, considering some of the implications of in vitro meat/lab grown flesh. The reading is 'Chewing Over In Vitro Meat: Animal Ethics, Cannibalism and Social Progress', by Josh Milburn, Res Publica (2016) 22:249-265.Where: The Linkway, Level 4, John Medley (Building 191), The University of MelbourneWhen: 5.30-6.30pm, Monday 28th April 2018All welcome, please join us for the discussion.News
Knowing Animals Reading Group April 30 with guest Brock Bastian
Assoc. Professor Brock Bastian, Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences will join us to discuss his paper 'Resolving the Meat-Paradox: A Motivational Account of Morally Troublesome Behavior and Its Maintenance'.News
Knowing Animals Reading Group 25 June 'Settler Sanctuaries and the Stoat-Free State'
The text for our next session is Anna Boswell's article 'Settler Sancturaries and the Stoat-Free State' in the Animal Studies Journal, 6(2), 2017, 109-136.News
Barbara Creed to launch My Monster Exhibition
Professor Barbara Creed, Chair of the Human Rights and Animal Ethics Research Network will open the exhibition My Monster: The Human-Animal Hybrid at RMIT Gallery, Thursday 28 June 6-8pm.News
Knowing Animals Reading Group 26 March - The Moral Standing of Animals
The text for our next session will be 'The Moral Standing of Animals: Towards a Psychology of Speciesism'News
Book Launch: Gonzalo Villanueva's 'A Transnational History of the Australian Animal Movement'
The Human Rights and Animal Ethics Research Network is pleased to announce that it will host the launch for Gonzalo Villanueva's new book A Transnational History of the Australian Animal Movement, 1970-2015, Palgrave Macmillan, 2018.News
Knowing Animals Reading Group 26 February - Susan Fraiman 'Pussy Panic'
The text this month is Susan Fraiman's 'Pussy Panic versus Liking Animals: Tracking Gender in Animal Studies'News
Knowing Animals Reading Group 2018
The Knowing Animals Reading Group commences again on Monday 26 February.News
Book launch / Lecture 'Stray: Human-Animal Ethics in the Anthropocene' by Barbara Creed
Friday 26 May 2017, 6-8pm at the Ian Potter Museum of ArtNews
Knowing Animals Reading Group 29 May with guest Dr Siobhan O'Sullivan
Dr Siobhan O'Sullivan will be joining us for a discussion of selected texts from the new publication: The Political Turn in Animal EthicsNews
Australasian Animal Studies Conference 2017
Calls for Papers and EOI for artists - Animal IntersectionsNews
Animal Publics: Emotions, Empathy, Activism July 2015
Convened by the Australian Centre and the Human Rights and Animal Ethics Research Network (HRAE), The University of Melbourne.
Animal Publics, was the sixth biennial international conference of the Australasian Animal Studies Association (formerly the Australian Animal Studies Group), the conference explored the complex relationship between the public and private worlds of animals. It considered the roles played by emotions, empathy and activism in the often contradictory way in which we relate to animals in both public and private spheres. Six acclaimed international key-note speakers presented papers over the four days. Speakers from around the world offered local and global perspectives on the issues involved. Debate was stimulated through an exhibition of art works (download the catalogue (7.5Mb pdf)), film screenings and book launches.
Keynote speakers included: Una Chaudhuri, Erica Fudge, Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, Timothy Pachirat, Anat Pick and Harriet Ritvo and videos of these talks are available below:
Harriet Ritvo, 'Wanting the Wild'
Keynote lecture Animal Publics conference 2015
Una Chaudhuri, 'Discretion and Diplomacy in Interspecies Performance'
Keynote lecture Animal Publics conference 2015
Erica Fudge, 'The Multiple Animal Worlds of Edward Topsell'
Keynote lecture Animal Publics conference 2015
Jeffrey Masson 'Is it possible that some animals have some emotions deeper than those of any human?'
Keynote lecture Animal Publics conference 2015
Anat Pick, Val Plumwood Lecture: 'Vegan Cinema: Looking, Eating, Letting Be'
Keynote lecture Animal Publics conference 2015