Saturday, 24 December 2011

"Wanted, Dead or Alive: Critical Geographies of Human-Animal Encounters"

Call for papers:
"Wanted, Dead or Alive: Critical Geographies of Human-Animal Encounters"

RGS-IBG Conference, 3rd-5th July 2012

Organisers: Daniel Allen (Independent Scholar), and Richard White (Sheffield Hallam). Animal Geography Research Network

The emergence of a ‘more-than-human geographies’ approach to the natural world has seen the dissolution of nature-culture binaries, challenged understandings of “the animal”, and heightened the appreciation of hybridity and subjectivities. Despite these important developments, it has been suggested that ‘something is lost’ with this analysis; and the danger of denying difference altogether remains (Castree, 2003). As Philo (2005: 829) reflects: ‘might it not be that the animals – in detail, up close, face-to-face, as it were – still remain somewhat shadowy presences? They are animating the stories being told, but in their individuality – as different species, even as individuals – they stay in the margins.’

This ambitious session strives to reconsider the original aims of the new animal geographies project, documenting all manner of encounters between humans and animals, showing the spatiality of human-animal orderings, and revealing how such relationships shaped ideas, practices and identities throughout history (Philo and Wilbert, 2001). The session welcomes papers engaging with human-animal encounters in secure places, landscapes of defence, spaces of security and insecurity. Possible topics could include: animals in warfare, detection species at home and in the workplace, animals as both forms of security for and devourers of property, encounters with dangerous species (captivity, taming, killing), securing indigenous and endangered species populations, animal protection through welfare and rights. The session will showcase the rich variety of human-animal research in social, cultural and historical geography. By bringing together ‘retold stories’ (H. Lorimer, 2005) and ‘responsible anthropologies’ (Johnston, 2008) it is hoped this session will keep non-human animals out of the shadows of marginality, and also help secure ongoing contributions from the field of animal geography.

Instructions for Authors: Please send abstracts (250 words max) to Daniel Allen (, or Richard J White ( by Friday 27th January 2012.

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