First Sex, Gender, Species Conference Drawing Strong Interest

Sixteen speakers from a range of disciplines in the sciences, social sciences, humanities and the arts will focus on a variety of topics addressing human-animal relations and their representations.

Sex, Gender, Species is the title of an international conference being hosted by Wesleyan Animal Studies and The Center for the Study of Public Life on Feb. 25-26.

The conference will explore the intersections between feminist and animal studies and the practical and theoretical problems central to both fields. Speakers from a range of disciplines in the sciences, social sciences, humanities and the arts will focus on a variety of topics addressing human-animal relations and their representations.

“The growing field of animal studies has turned critical attention to the real conditions and stakes of human relationships with other animals,” says Lori Gruen, conference co-organizer and associate professor, philosophy, associate professor, feminist, gender and sexuality studies. “We were overwhelmed by the quality and quantity of the response to our call for papers and are looking forward to an intellectually rich conference.”

The conference has five sessions. Friday, Feb. 25, will feature presentations and discussions under the subject lines of “Between Species” and “Transnational Animals;” Saturday, Feb. 26 sessions include “Translating Others,” Eco-Bodies,” and “Animal Vulnerabilities,” as well as a poster session showcasing work ranging from history of science and religion to art and performance studies.

”Animal Studies has become a new and important focus for debates over identity and difference that have embroiled academic theory over the past quarter century.” says Kari Weil, visiting professor of letters and conference co-organizer. “This is an exciting first-time event bringing together feminist and animal studies scholars and artists and we believe it will promote further interdisciplinary work.”

The scheduled presenters will include:

Karen Cardozo, LITS Scholar in Residence, Mount Holyoke College.

Sushmita Chatterjee, visiting assistant professor in political science, Augustana College.

Emily Clark, Ph.D candidate, University of Wisconsin, Madison.

Greta Gaard, associate professor of English, University of Wisconsin, River Falls.

María Elena García is associate professor, Comparative History of Ideas Program and Jackson School of International Studies, University of Washington.

Jenny Grubbs, Ph.D candidate, anthropology, American University.

Alice J. Hovorka, associate professor, department of geography, University of Guelph, Canada.

Stephanie Jenkins, dual-Ph.D candidate, philosophy and women’s studies, Penn State University.

Eric Jonas, doctoral program graduate student, philosophy, Northwestern University.

Sandra Koelle, postdoctoral fellow in environmental humanities, Stanford University.

Ruth Lipschitz, Ph.D candidate on skin and species in contemporary South African art, Goldsmiths, University of London.

Susan McHugh, associate professor of English, University of New England.

James K. Stanescu, adjunct professor for the department of communication studies and theatre and department of philosophy, Mercer University.

Banu Subramaniam, associate professor, women’s studies, University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Mary Trachsel, associate professor, department of rhetoric, University of Iowa.

Traci Warkentin, assistant professor, department of geography, Hunter College, City University of New York.

The conference sponsors include: the Center for the Study of Public Life and the Ethics in Society Project, the Dean’s Office, the Provost’s Office, the Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies Program, the College of Letters, the College of the Environment and Wesleyan Animal Studies.