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Conference: Nonhuman Animals in the Age of Extinction and Mass Production

Nonhuman Animals in the Age of Extinction and Mass Production

This interdisciplinary conference will critically examine the paradoxical situation of nonhuman animal life in the age of mass extinction and mass production. This conference addresses one of the most urgent challenges facing humanity and other animals in the context of the climate crisis and the global capitalist system: the destruction of habitats and exploitation of animals that drive both extinction and consumption. We will explore how literature, film, visual art and other media perpetuate but also criticise and rethink the ethical, ecological and social implications of this scenario. At the core, this exploratory conference aims to foster a dialogue between (Critical) Animal Studies, Extinction Studies and Environmental Humanities, interdisciplinary fields that share ecological concerns but also have tensions.

Animal Studies, Extinction Studies and Environmental Humanities all have a strong focus on cultural critique, conservation and alternative ways of interspecies co-existence to build and protect ecosystem resilience to ensure human and animal survival. Yet, the main tension lies in ethical questions around the place of the animal in this, taking either an animal liberation or ecosystem protection approach (Ursula Heise, Dominic O’Key, Troy Vettese, John Miller). This conference hopes to scrutinise and transgress the borders of these already interdisciplinary areas of study to advance a critical awareness of the ethical, ecological, and social implications of our interactions with other animals in various contexts and domains.

Interrogating human-animal relations and imagining more emancipatory ways to organise environments, the event seeks to create the groundwork for an international Animal Studies Research Network to be based within the UCD Environmental Humanities research strand and will help connect scholars in Ireland working in this field with international networks.

The conference will be held in English. While this event will primarily be in-person, we will facilitate hybrid attendance on Zoom and online registrations.

We are immensely grateful to the UCD College of Arts and Humanities and the UCD Humanities Institute for funding this conference.

Event website:
Organiser email:
Online Only Day Added – 16 May

Thanks to the huge number of fantastic and thought-provoking abstracts responding to this conference’s theme, we have added an online-only day on 16 May. The in-person event will take place on 17 May, as per schedule.

The conference will be held in English. Attendance is free, but registration is mandatory on Eventbrite. You can register to attend on both days, either online or in person. A vegan lunch and refreshments will be provided to in-person attendees on 17 May.

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