LASN speaks to Knowing Animals

Caitlin Stobie and Dominic O’Key of LASN recently spoke to Siobhan O’Sullivan for the Knowing Animals podcast.

Caitlin discussed her article,  ‘The Good Wife? Sibling Species in Han Kang’s The Vegetarian’, which was published in ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment, Volume 24, Issue 4, 1 April 2018. You can find the episode here >>

Dominic spoke about his forthcoming chapter, ‘Postscript, Posthuman: Werner Herzog’s “Crocodile” at the End of the World’, in the edited collection, Animal Biography: Re-framing Animal Lives, which will be published by Palgrave Macmillan in 2018. You can find the episode here >>

The 3rd Northern Animals: Extinction in the Anthropocene

The third Northern Animals meeting, titled Extinction in the Anthropocene, will be held on the 24 April at the University of York. The eventbrite page to register for the event is: event is free but registration is essential.

As with previous Northern Animal workshops, the network will be providing a limited number of small travel bursaries of up to £15 on a first come first served basis.

Please do not hesitate to contact the Extinction Network for more information; you can check out their Twitter ( or website (

Going to the Dogs? #2

“Going to the Dogs”?: A Workshop Series on Research at the Intersection of Disability and Animal Studies

Workshop # 2

Following the success of the first “Going to the Dogs” event on 19 February 2018 (find out more here and discussion stemming from the event here), the Centre for Medical Humanities (School of English, 6­­–10 Cavendish Road) will be hosting a follow-up workshop on Friday 13 April 2018 from 10am to 4pm.

This second workshop will feature the following talks:

·         Rachael Gillibrand (Institute for Medieval Studies, University of Leeds), TBC;

·         Ryan Sweet (School of English and Leeds Humanities Research Institute, University of Leeds), “Wooden-Limbed Livestock and Prostheticised Pets: Prostheses for Animals in the Nineteenth-Century Periodical Press”;

·         Neil Pemberton (Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, University of Manchester), “Stroking with Words: Caress and the Making of Guide-Dog-Human Partnership in 1930s America”;

·         Andy Flack (Department of History, University of Bristol), “Why Look at Animals’ Eyes?: Historicising Understandings of Extra-Visual Perception among Nocturnal Animals”;

·         Justyna Włodarczyk (Department of American Literature, University of Warsaw), “Dogs at Work or Scam Alert? The Cultural and Social Context of the Controversy over Emotional Support Animals in the US”.

If you would like to register for FREE, please email the event organiser, Ryan Sweet( When writing to Ryan, please inform him of any accessibility needs that you have so that he can ensure that the event is fully inclusive.

Tea, coffee, lunch, and other refreshments will be provided.

Animals in Disability Art: An Evening with Jenni-Juulia Wallinheimo-Heimonen

Related to the “Going to the Dogs” workshop series, from 7pm to 9pm on Thursday 12 April 2018 the Finnish conceptual and textile artist Jenni-Juulia Wallinheimo-Heimonen will be performing, presenting, and explaining her recent disability art that incorporates animals atThe Tetley.

To find out more and to register (again for FREE), please visit

If you have any questions regarding either of these events, please write to Ryan Sweet (

Northern Animals Community

The Sheffield Animals Research Colloquium (ShARC) has just launched an exciting new project for all scholars working on animal studies in the north of England: the Northern Animals Community.

The group will be hosting its first meeting at Sheffield at the end of March. PGTs, PGRs, and early career researchers are particularly welcome to attend. More information is available on their website.

LASN looks forward to collaborating with other members of the Northern Animals community in the future.

Subjects and Objects of Law – CfP


Subjects and Objects of Law:
A Workshop on Animals and Vulnerability
May 31, 2017
A Vulnerability and the Human Condition Initiative & Center for Law and Social Justice Workshop
University of Leeds, UK

The Center for Law & Social Justice at the University of Leeds School of Law and the Vulnerability and Human Condition Initiative at the Emory University School of Law is delighted to launch a new series of interdisciplinary workshops aimed at exploring topics related to the Subjects and Objects of Law. These ongoing conversations will employ Vulnerability Theory to think through a range of issues around juridical personhood, legal subjectivity, and legal personality. The goal will be to explore the ‘sorting’ function and categories of law, as well as the origins and expressions of state responsibility which such categories produce. Using vulnerability analysis to engage both the epistemic and doctrinal registers of legal personhood will allow us to consider how the human and non-human are and have been constructed as the subjects and objects of law, spanning across time and cultures. Future topics are anticipated to include the jurisprudence of legal personality as it relates to: nature, the environment and ecosystems; business entities such as domestic and multi-national corporations; cities and municipalities; international governmental and non-governmental organizations; as well as those humans excluded from historical categories of full subjectivity including women, racial minorities, the disabled, colonized peoples and children.

The first meeting on the 31st May 2017 will focus on the legal construction of animals, with participants from all scholarly and activist disciplines invited to explore history, conflicts and debates around the inclusion/exclusion of animals within the category of legal persons. The lens of vulnerability and resilience has much to offer this discussion, by reframing the human-animal hierarchy from one of domination and control into mutual and reciprocal relations of dependency and responsibility. Scholars and advocates concerned about animal wellbeing have argued from rights- or interest-based perspectives that human use of animals should be prohibited; or, alternatively, that animals should be granted a status higher than property under the law, such as quasi- or living property or personhood. These arguments have serious limitations. Strong human rights or interests in using animals will always trump animal rights or interests. Similarly, animals treated as living property or persons under the law have competing claims with human persons, making it unlikely that animals will prevail.

This workshop invites participants to think outside frameworks of ‘rights’ in considering the legal identity of non-human persons. Vulnerability Theory is interested in the social identities which embed both human and non-human actors in our physical world. In thinking through legal identity as a social identity, we recognize that the significance of juridical personhood lies in the entitlements, duties and legal capacity that it produces. What, then, might be the consequence of extending this legal personality to animals and how would it reposition non-human animals in relationship to the state, to other non-human legal persons (such as corporations), to human beings and to the natural world? What new expressions of state and other forms of responsibility would it create? And what are the limitations of strategies linked to personhood? This inquiry extends beyond competing rights claims to engage animals as vulnerable legal subjects, while challenging divisions between ‘nature’ and ‘culture’ as constitutive legal and conceptual categories. It also asks us to regard animals as universally vulnerable, while turning our attention to the resilience that may be generated (or reduced) by reimagining animals as legal subjects, among other tools of recognition.

Workshop Contacts:

Martha Albertson Fineman, I Michael Thomson;
Marie Fox,<> I Stu Marvel,<>

Submission Procedure:

Email a proposal as a Word or PDF document by March 6, 2017 to Antony Butcher ( and Rachel Ezrol (

Decisions will be made by April 3, 2017 and working paper drafts will be due May 1, 2017 so they can be duplicated and distributed prior to the Workshop.

Workshop Details:

This will be an all-day workshop on Wednesday, May 31st in the Moot Court Room of the Liberty Building, University of Leeds.

FLT and VHC workshops are structured to allow for extended and meaningful participation by non-presenters and are open the public.  To attend as a registered guest click

‘To be more animal’ PCI Research Seminar

Wednesday 9 November
Alec Clegg Studio, stage@leeds, 17:00
Please book a place with Linda Watson:

Dr Lourdes Orozsco (English) – Goats, Big Cats and other Beasts: Turning Animal and Performing the Limits of the Human


In this co-authored paper (with Jennifer Parker-Starbuck) we propose a comparative investigation of three distinct acts of human to animal transformation involving technology, surgery and transposition. Unlike Deleuze and Guattari’s well-cited ‘becoming-animal’, these transformations explore more literal becomings that investigate actual lives and behaviours of non-human animals. The first section of the article presents a critical exploration of Thomas Twhaites – the Goat Man – a UK based designer who lived for a year in the Swiss Alps as a goat transforming his body into that of the animal with the use of technology. It then turns to engage critically with the late ‘Stalking Cat’ who, through body modifications (surgery, tattoos, and implants), underwent a lifelong transformation to become-cat. We will finally investigate the work of ethologist Charles Foster whose last project has entailed living as a series of different UK indigenous species (badger, deer, fox). The article proposes these three interventions as performative acts that explore and expand the concepts of what it means to be ‘human’ and ‘animal’ in three different contexts: the technological, the surgical/personal and the ethological. The three examples offer opportunities to destabilise the human and the animal as distinct categories and engage directly with notions of the post-human and the post-animal to, as Jennifer Ham and Matthew Senior argued, ‘con-figure the human with the animal’, enabling ‘a descent through the body out of the subject/object world of metaphysics, a quest for another kind of language which merges with the sounds and gestures of animals’ (Animal Acts, 2). Embedded in a theoretical framework situated at the cross-roads of performance studies, animal studies and posthumanism, the paper also wants to challenge disciplinary boundaries and understands the scientific, performative and the personals spheres as valid and potential vehicles to become -human-animal.

Prof. Helen Steward (Philosophy, Religion and History of Science) – Embracing Animality

In this talk, I’ll discuss some of the work done for my AHRC Fellowship project, ‘Persons as Animals’, and in particular, the collaboration with Chester Zoo that formed a part of that project, a collaboration that I hope to continue, although the Fellowship has now come to an end. The project attempted to make philosophical progress in certain areas of philosophy of mind by forefronting our animality, seeking to understand cognition, perception and agency in ways which emphasize the continuities and commonalities found within the animal kingdom. In further work with the zoo, I want to explore possible ways of challenging our inclination to think of ourselves as outside the realm of the animal.