Clark hosts Human-Animal Studies Fellowship Conference

Clark University is hosting the Animals and Society Institute’s 2010 Human-Animal Studies Fellowship Conference, under way since May 24 and featuring public presentations by 20 distinguished scholars from around the world, from June 28 through July 1.

This is the fourth year of the six-week ASI program, which brings together animal-studies scholars for individual research focusing on a wide range of topics, such as the human-animal dynamic, animal welfare and policy, ethics, cloning, and literary and cultural topics.

This is the first time Clark University is hosting the program, led by Professor Jody Emel, director of the Graduate School of Geography at Clark. Emel is a co-editor of the book “Animal Geographies:  Place, Politics and Identity in the Nature-Culture Borderlands.”   Susan McHugh, a professor of English at the University of New England, is the adjunct host.

On Monday, June 28, Emel will join Kenneth Shapiro, ASI Executive Director, and Kristin L. Stewart, vice president of the institute’s Board of Directors, to formally welcome conference participants. At 5:30 p.m., Emel will present a talk on “Fighting Meat Sovereignty.”

The interdisciplinary fellowship program enables scholars to pursue individual research in residence through mentorship, guest lectures, and scholarly exchange. Their final research projects are expected to be published within a year after the fellowship.

Below is a list of the 2010 HAS Fellows and their project topics. Twenty distinguished scholars will participate during the conference. A complete schedule of the public presentations/discussions is online.

Jane Elizabeth Harris, Ph.D. candidate and Associate Counselor, Psychodynamic Studies Programme, University of Oxford Counseling Service -  Displaced Animals and Misplaced Empathy? Cultivating a Posthuman Psychotherapy

William Lynn, Ph.D., Visiting Assistant Professor, Environmental Studies, Williams College – Practical Ethics: Moral Understanding in a More Than Human World

Robert McKay, Ph.D., University Teacher, School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics, University of Sheffield – Animal Ethics in Cold War Literary Culture

Siobhan O'Sullivan, Ph.D., Research Fellow, School of Social and Political Sciences, University of Melbourne – Equality and Democracy: A Study into the Nature of Discrimination in Animal Welfare Regulation

Krithika Srinivasan, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Geography, King's College London – Living in a More-than-Human World: Ethics and Politics in Environmental Discourse in India

Jenny Vermilya, Ph.D. candidate, Department of Sociology, University of Colorado – Tracking "Large" or "Small": The Human-Animal Relationship for Veterinary Students within the Tracking System

Dita Wickins Drazilova, Ph.D., Senior Research Associate at the Department of Philosophy, Lancaster University – Cloning Extinct Species of Mammals: Ethical and Public Policy Analysis

The ASI Human-Animal Studies Fellowship program is supported by the Animal Welfare Trust, the American Anti-Vivisection Society and Best Friends Animal Society.

The Animals and Society Institute is a nonprofit, independent research and educational organization that advances the status of animals in public policy, and promotes the study of human-animal relationships. The ASI seeks to advance institutional change for animals by helping to establish the moral and legal rights fundamental to a just, compassionate and peaceful society. ASI serves as an independent think tank as well as a producer of educational resources, publications and events.

Since its founding in 1887, Clark University in Worcester, Mass., has a history of challenging convention. As an innovative liberal arts college and research university, Clark’s world-class faculty lead a community of creative thinkers and passionate doers and offer a range of expertise, particularly in the areas of psychology, geography, urban education, Holocaust and genocide studies, environmental studies, and international development and social change. Clark’s students, faculty and alumni embody the Clark motto: Challenge convention. Change our world.