Animal Publics: Emotions, Empathy, Activism conference

Date: Sunday, July 12, 2015 - 17:00 and Wednesday, July 15, 2015 - 19:00

Australasian Animal Studies Association (AASA) 2015 conference: Animal Publics:  Emotions, Empathy, Activism

Convened by the Australian Centre and the Human Rights and Animal Ethics Research Network (HRAE)

The University of Melbourne, July 12-15, 2015.

For more information see the conference website or contact

Keynote speakers

We are pleased to announce the outstanding keynote speakers who will be a part of Animal Publics: Emotions, Empathy, Activism

Una Chaudhari is Collegiate Professor and Professor of English and Drama at New York University, New York and Abu Dhabi. Una is a pioneer of animals studies in the humanities and “eco-theatre”—play

s and performances that engage with the subjects of ecology and environment—as well as the related field of ecocriticism, which studies art and literature from an ecological perspective. She was guest editor of a special issue of Yale Theater on “Theater and Ecology” and a special issue on Animals and Performance, for TDR: The Journal of Performance Studies (2007). She is a highly respected and award-winning scholar for her books and articles. Her most recent publications include Animal Acts: Performing Species Today (University of Michigan Press, 2014), co-edited with Holly Hughes, and Ecocide: Research Theatre and Climate Change (Palgrave, 2014), co-authored with Shonni Enelow.

Erica Fudgeis Professor of English in the School of Humanities at the University of Strathclyde. Her research is in the fields of Animal Studies and Renaissance Studies, on issues as varied as meat eating, dreams, children, laughter, reason, bladder-control, animal faces, pet ownership, experimentation, the wearing of fur, anthropomorphic children's literature and vegetarianism. She has recently had articles on human-livestock relations in early modern England in the journals Angelaki; Theory, Culture and Society; and History and Theory. Her books include: Pets (Acumen Press, 2008),Brutal Reasoning: Animals, Rationality and Humanity in Early Modern England (Cornell University Press, 2006), Animal(Reaktion Books, 2002), Perceiving Animals: Humans and Beasts in Early Modern English Culture (Macmillan/St Martin’s Press, 2000). Erica is director of the British Animal Studies Network (BASN).

Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson is a world renowned author and animal rights activist. After a career in psychoanalysis, which involved the publication of the controversial The Assault on Truth: Freud's Suppression of the Seduction Theory(Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1984), Jeffrey moved to writing on the emotional life of animals. His books include the best-selling When Elephants Weep: The Emotional Lives of Animals (Cape, 1994) and, Dogs Never Lie About Love: Reflections on the Emotional World of Dogs (Broadway Books, 1998). Jeffrey is a Director of Voiceless, the animal protection institute. His most recent book is Beasts: What Animals Can Teach Us About the Origins of Good and Evil(Bloomsbury, 2014).

Timothy Pachirat is an Assistant Professor of Politics at The University of Massachusetts, Amhurst, with research interests in comparative politics, the politics of Southeast Asia, spatial and visual politics, power and the sociology of domination and resistance, the political economy of dirty and dangerous work, and interpretive and ethnographic research methods. His recent book, Every Twelve Seconds: Industrialized Slaughter and the Politics of Sight (Yale University Press, 2011), was produced after working for five months undercover in a slaughterhouse. This ethnographic study focuses on the distancing of the violence of food production from broader society, with serious implications ranging from the sociology of violence and modern food production to animal rights and welfare.

Anat Pick teaches film at Queen Mary University of London. Her book Creaturely Poetics was published by Columbia University Press in 2011. She is coeditor of Screening Nature: Cinema Beyond the Human (2013), and her nonfiction book, Maureen, will be out next year (published by Hen Press). In 2013-14, Anat curated a series of film programs on flora, fauna, and the moving image at Tate Modern, the Whitechapel Gallery, and the Goethe-Institut. Anat’s current project is titled Vegan Cinema: Looking, Eating, and Letting Be.

Harriet Ritvo is the Arthur J. Conner Professor of History at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and internationally recognised as a major scholar in animal studies. Her seminal research is foundational to the history of animal/ human relations, the history of natural history, environmental history and British history. She has authored a number of important books: The Dawn of Green: Manchester, Thirlmere, and Modern Environmentalism (Chicago UP, 2009), The Platypus and the Mermaid, and Other Figments of the Classifying Imagination (Harvard UP, 1997), The Animal Estate: The English and Other Creatures in the Victorian Age (Harvard UP, 1987), and Noble Cows and Hybrid Zebras: Essays on Animals and History (Virginia, 2010).