Thursday, 13 May 2010

All workshop papers and presentations are
available on the project's Google Groups site
named  'UIBEN'
(access only to Network members
with a Google account)



21st-22nd June 2010

Bristol Zoological Gardens

Beyond Exceptionalism:

The Animal in Human Explanation

The ESRC/MRC funded network ‘Understanding human behaviour through human/animal relations’ is organising a conference as the culmination of the fascinating series of workshops that have brought together researchers from across the scientific disciplines to explore the question of the role, importance and effects of different forms of human engagement with non-human animals upon human behaviour. The conference, which will be held entirely in plenary, will consist of 4 key note papers from invited speakers and up to 10 submitted papers. Papers will be presented by social, natural and animal scientists dealing with multiple aspects of human/animal interaction (whether it be through companionship, through wild encounters, through science, through story telling and artistic mediation, through husbandry and so on) and their bearing and influence upon human behaviour.

The conference will begin at 10.30 on Monday 21st June and end around 15.30 on Tuesday 22nd. There will be a nominal fee to cover costs and entry to the conference also covers entry to Bristol Zoo for the duration of the event.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

The 6th and final Workshop in this series, entitled 'The Animal Within' will take place on Tuesday 16th March at Bristol University's Veterinary School. In this final workshop, we take a wide ranging look at the ‘human animal’, drawing upon the varied inputs of psychology, media studies, social sciences as well as zoology and biology, to explore how far various animalisms in the understanding of human behaviour might ultimately go.

The speakers a the workshop will be:

Lynda Burke:  New directions in human-animal studies

Kay Peggs:  Ethical correspondences

Joanna Latimer: Posthumanities

The 5th Workshop in the series, entitled 'Knowledge and Animal Cultures' took place at the University of Reading on Tuesday 12th January.

 The aim of the workshop was to explore how our growing understanding of animal societies and social behaviours– drawing partly from primatology – invites a less dualistic and exclusive sense of what constitutes ‘society’, ‘culture’ and strictly ‘human’ behaviour, and, in doing so suggests a possibly less autonomous sense of mind, subjectivity and engagement. Focusing both on the methodological and the ontological issues associated with ‘objective’ accounts of the animal, the workshop explored the human, and non-human social context in which both animals and humans are implicated and enrolled.

The Speakers at the Workshop were:

Francoise Wemelsfeder: How animals communicate quality of life: qualitative assessment of animal behaviour

Stephen Lea: What do we now know about what animals know, and what does it matter?

Rebekah Fox:  Everyday negotiations of the animal-human divide in pet-keeping

Kate Hill:  The birth of ethnoprimatology

Richie Nimmo:  Primate Visionaries: Constituting Hybrid Knowledges

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

4th Workshop : Wildlife, Empathy and Environmental Behaviour

The growing proximity of the increasingly mediated ‘wild’; through the reinvention of zoos as both sanctuaries for endangered animals and educational centres as well as the explosion of wildlife programmes on the television, all impact upon human attitudes to ‘nature’. How do portrayals, representations and interactions with ‘wild’ animals impact upon environmental attitudes and ecological behaviour ? These are the themes of this particular workshop which features papers by the following: Piran White: 'Contrasting attitudes towards native and invasive species'; Angela Cassidy: 'Badgers, cows and us; shifting conflicts'; Garry Marvin: 'Challenging Animals: An exploration of the practices and performances of modern hunting'; Chris Wilbert: 'Questioning ‘wild’ animal mediations in Art, Zoos, Nature Documentaries and Leisure/Tourism practices'; Christoph Schwitzer and Simon Garrett: 'Zoos, education and the public: a perspective from Bristol Zoo'; and Stephen Moss: 'Wildlife on screen'. The workshop is being held on Tuesday 15th December 2009 at the Bristol Veterinary School, Langford.

Tuesday, 24 November 2009

Film "Horse Boy" is on BBC 4 21.00, 24 11 09

The Horse Boy

Today, 21:00 on BBC Four


Filmmaker Michel Orion Scott captures a magical journey into a little-known world, in a documentary which chronicles Rupert Isaacson and Kristin Neff's personal odyssey to make sense of their child's autism, and find healing for him and themselves in the unlikeliest of places.

Saturday, 14 November 2009

Animals for Peace

When I presented a paper on the domestic geographies of cats at workshop 2 of the network, I made the point that in my family our cats are often used as peace brokers in tensions between human family members. In the follow up comments someone suggested that the use of animals in conflict resolution on the domestic scale could be scaled up. This seemed an intriguing idea to me. (People are often prepared to heed the plight of animals rather than other people). I guessed that others would have already had this idea. I decided to poke about on Google and found the following website. Animals for Peace. Cheers Owain