Eastern Kentucky University
Living with Animals Conference

 

 

 
CALL FOR PAPERS:
“Living with Animals,” including the subthemes, “Teaching with Animals” 
and “Living with Horses.” This conference has special relevance to the venue.
Eastern Kentucky University, located in Richmond just south of Lexington,
"The Horse Capital of the World", began offering 
the first undergraduate degree in Animal Studies in 2010. 


	A three-day conference: March 21-23, 2013
	Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY 


KEYNOTE SPEAKERS: 

Margo DeMello/Francine Dolins/Ken Shapiro/Kari Weil 

CONFERENCE CO-CHAIRS: 

Dr. Robert Mitchell and Julia Schlosser 

robert.mitchell@eku.edu
julia.a.schlosser@gmail.com

 

LIVING WITH ANIMALS: Many of us enjoy our lives with animals. We live with them in 
diverse ways: they are our friends, our enemies, our food, our materials, our helpmates,
and our co-inhabitants of the planet. They invade our fields and mythologies, and we invade
their habitats and lifeways. They are pervasive in our history, artworks, language and
literature. Newsmedia contain innumerable references to animals every day: pets
unintentionally euthanized, smart and even sexy bonobos, human-killing bears and 
chimp-saving humans, pigs who save their owners, tigers who maul people who are
seeking oneness with them, and ridiculous catactivities swarm YouTube, Fox News,
and more intellectual media such as the New York Times. 
Animals fascinate us. Yet the consequences of our collective actions do not always
bode well for animals, whose lives and deaths depend on us. Many studies have concluded,
without irony, that the myriad dangers posed to endangered species and the global
environment would disappear immediately if human animals ceased to occupy space
with nonhuman animals: Humans are truly the “elephant in the room” in any discussion
of conservation. 

During this conference, we propose to examine our interactions with animals, the
ways we livewith them and they live with us, the ways they live and die, and the
ways that our decisionsaffect their lives and deaths, as well as practical solutions
and philosophical/ethical issues surrounding our lives with animals. We will also
examine the ways that literature, art, film, science, and popular culture represent
human-animal relationships and the lives and deaths of animals, and the implications of
these mediated visions. Dr. Ken Shapiro, cofounder of the Animals & Society Institute,
and Dr. Francine Dolins, Assistant Professor of Psychology at 
the University of Michigan-Dearborn, will be keynote speakers. 
Dr. Shapiro will present an overview of the Animal Studies field and its relationships
to the animal protection movement. Dr. Dolins studies behavioral ecology and cognitive
processes in non-human primates. Her research mainly investigates spatial cognition 
and navigational behavior, in addition to decision-making processing in spatial behavior.
She has conducted fieldwork in Madagascar, Costa Rica and Peru. 


TEACHING WITH ANIMALS: In 2005, the “Animals in History” conference held in 
Cologne, Germany, concluded with a vibrant discussion about the future of the academic
discipline of Human/Animals studies. Many participants argued for the continued existence
of Animal Studies as an interdisciplinary endeavor. Since that time, courses containing
animal subject matter have proliferated across academia. The H-Animal Syllabus Exchange
has been a popular on-line resource for faculty since 2006. 
In 2010, Eastern Kentucky University premiered  the first interdisciplinary 
baccalaureate degree in Animal Studies; other universities have had Anthrozoology degrees,
or specializations within Sociology or Psychology. Since the Animal Studies major appeared,
EKU has also developed a “Humans, Horses & Health” minor. Bark Magazine (Sept. 2012) featured
an article on the inclusion of canine subject matter in a variety of curricula. What then
are the current issues facing faculty teaching animal subject matter acrossthe disciplines?
Is an interdisciplinary approach practical and beneficial? What strategies have you used
to convey animal-centric information to your students? How have you navigated the politics
of academia to find a “home” for your Animal Studies course? Papers from a diversity of 
perspectives are sought which discuss experiences teaching animal subject matter, and we
hope participants will bring discussion questions about teaching Animal Studies. 
Anthropologist Dr. Margo DeMello (author of Animals and Society: 
An Introduction to Human-Animal Studies) will be the keynote speaker anchoring the Friday
session devoted to teaching animal subject matter. 
Related activities will include breakout discussion sessions, a voluntary syllabus swap, 
and a larger discussion session debating the benefits and practicalities of an interdisciplinary
approach to teaching animal subject matter. Dr. DeMello is the President and Executive Director
of House Rabbit Society, an international rabbit advocacy organization, and the
Program Director for Human-Animal Studies at Animals & Society Institute. Her latest book,
Speaking for Animals: Animal Autobiographical Writing, will be out in fall, 2012. 
In 2005, the “Animals in History” conference held in Cologne, Germany, concluded with a vibrant
discussion about the future of the academic discipline of Human/Animals studies. 
Many participants argued for the continued existence of Animal Studies as an interdisciplinary
endeavor. Since that time, courses containing animal subject matter have proliferated across
academia. The H-Animal Syllabus Exchange has been a popular on-line resource for faculty since
2006.
In 2010, Eastern Kentucky University premiered the first interdisciplinary baccalaureate degree
in Animal Studies; other universities have had Anthrozoology degrees, or specializations within
Sociology or Psychology. Since the Animal Studies major appeared, EKU has also developed a
“Humans, Horses & Health” minor. Bark Magazine (Sept. 2012) featured an article on the inclusion
of canine subject matter in a variety of 
curricula. What then are the current issues facing faculty teaching animal subject matter across
the disciplines? Is an interdisciplinary approach practical and beneficial? What strategies have 
you used to convey animal-centric information to your students? How have you navigated the politics
of academia to find a “home” for your Animal Studies course? Papers from a diversity of 
perspectives are sought which discuss experiences teaching animal subject matter, and we hope 
participants will bring discussion questions about teaching Animal Studies. Anthropologist
Dr. Margo DeMello (author of Animals and Society: An Introduction to Human-Animal Studies) will 
be the keynote speaker anchoring the Friday session devoted to teaching animal subject matter. 
Related activities will include breakout discussion sessions, a voluntary syllabus swap, 
and a larger discussion session debating the benefits and practicalities of an interdisciplinary
approach to teaching animal subject matter. Dr. DeMello is the President and Executive Director 
of House Rabbit Society, an international rabbit advocacy organization, and the Program Director for 
Human-Animal Studies at Animals & Society Institute. Her latest book Speaking for Animals: 
Animal Autobiographical Writing will be out in fall, 2012. 


LIVING WITH HORSES: The horse holds a unique place among domesticated animals. 
Whether as food source or beasts of burden; as objects of worship, sacrifice or study; as tools in 
science, therapy or agriculture; or as traveling, sporting or battle workers, horses have influenced 
human societies since the two species came together. Within these interfaces, horses are large, 
potentially dangerous beings with whom humans can and do develop deep and often reciprocal
relationships. The Thursday session focuses on the following questions: How is it that humans
and horses have lived together in the ways they have? What makes horses what they are? How
do humans conceive of their uses and value across cultures, and how do these conceptions factor 
into their use and treatment? The session takes an inclusive, multidisciplinary animal studies
approach, and seeks presentations from across the sciences, social sciences, humanities, arts, and 
applied fields. Potential topics include but are not limited to: equestrianism and equestrian sport;
equine psychology, sociality and culture; human-horse bonding; perceptions and representations 
of horses in various human cultures and subcultures, past and present; changing paradigms of 
training and schooling; considerations of equine agency, rights and welfare; and the ethical
implications of the human-horse relationship. The session chair, Dr. Gala Argent, teaches the 
course “Horse” for EKU’s Animal Studies major and Humans, Horses and Health minor. Our 
Thursday keynote speaker will be University Professor of Letters at Wesleyan University,
Dr. Kari Weil (author of Thinking Animals: Why Animal Studies Now) whose current project is 
tentatively titled, The Most Beautiful Conquest of Man (sic): Horses, Gender and the Conquest
of Animal Nature in Nineteenth-Century France. 



ABSTRACTS: 

Please send 200-300 word abstracts and CV to Dr. Robert Mitchell, either by email:

robert.mitchell@eku.edu

or mail (Department of Psychology, Eastern Kentucky University, 
Richmond, KY, 40475, USA) by December 15th, 2012. We are open to receiving late
submissions, but we will begin making decisions by the end of December. 
Individual papers 20 minutes. Panels of up to 3 speakers are welcome.
Selected speakers will be notified via email by January 7, 2013. 


CONFERENCE WEBPAGE: 

http://psychology.eku.edu/insidelook/living-animals-conference-be-held-eku-march-21-23-2013

You can also email Julia Schlosser with questions:

julia.a.schlosser@gmail.com

 
After Dec. 10 the updated web page can be found at livingwithanimals.eku.edu 

CONFERENCE LOCATION: Eastern Kentucky University is located in historic Richmond, 
Kentucky, including many areas of historic and scenic interest. Fort Boonesborough State Park, 
birthplace of Kentucky, is located 12 miles to the north, and Civil War and many other historical
sites are nearby. The university is located just south of Kentucky’s famed Bluegrass Region,
internationally recognized for its horse culture. See 

http://www.eku.edu/about

for more information. 

CONFERENCE REGISTRATION: Conference registration opens January 8, 2013. Please 
send payment (by check or credit card) to Dr. Robert Mitchell, either by email 

robert.mitchell@eku.edu

or mail (Department of Psychology, Eastern Kentucky University, 
Richmond, KY, 40475, USA). 
Check webpage 

http://www.livingwithanimals.eku.edu

for online registration options. 

CONFERENCE REGISTRATION FEE: $183 (includes Friday lunch and conference dinner, 
Saturday lunch). 

MEALS: Registration costs include box lunch on Friday, deluxe vegan/ vegetarian conference 
dinner on Friday at off-campus restaurant and hot sit down buffet lunch on Saturday. Lunch on 
Thursday and dinner on Saturday (vegan, vegetarian or meat) can be purchased at Powell Dining 
Commons which is adjacent to the conference venues for approximately $9.00 each. All meals 
provided will have vegan/vegetarian options. 

TRANSPORTATION: If you fly into Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, we have arranged low
cost shuttle service to and from the Blue Grass Airport for most flights for $20.00 round trip
(not included in Conference Registration Fee; to use this you must complete separate sign up sheet). 
Contact us to check for the possibility of low-cost shuttle service to and from Louisville and 
Northern Kentucky-Cincinnati Airports. (See airport information below.)
Free shuttle service will be provided at selected times between the conference hotels and the
conference venue in the mornings and evenings and to the conference dinner and some other 
activities. 

TRIP TO BEREA, THURSDAY, MARCH 21: Join us on Thursday evening for a visit to 
scenic Berea, the artistic hub of Kentucky, 15 minutes away from Richmond. Shops will stay 
open late for us; we will eat at the Historic Boone Tavern, listen to an educational lecture and 
then drop in on a regional musician jam session. Cost ($37) includes dinner and round trip 
transportation from EKU to Berea and back to the conference hotels. We leave EKU at 5:15 PM
and return to hotels around 9:30 PM. 
Join us on Thursday evening for a visit to scenic Berea, the artistic hub of Kentucky,
15 minutes away from Richmond. Shops will stay open late for us; we will eat at the
Historic Boone Tavern, listen to an educational lecture and then drop in on a regional musician
jam session. Cost ($37) includes dinner and round trip transportation from EKU to Berea and back
to the conference hotels. 
We leave EKU at 5:15 PM and return to hotels around 9:30 PM. 

http://www.boonetavernhotel.com


TRIP TO THE KENTUCKY HORSE PARK, SUNDAY, MARCH 24: This 1,229-acre park 
is the only park in the world devoted to the human relationship with the horse, including the
renowned International Museum of the Horse, and exceptional live equestrian displays. 

http://kyhorsepark.com.

Cost ($15) includes Horse Park fees and shuttle from hotel to Horse 
Park and on to Airport. Shuttle will leave the hotels at 8:15 AM and drop off at Blue Grass
Airport at approximately 1 PM. Contact Robert Mitchell at

robert.mitchell@eku.edu

for more information about this exciting excursion. 

ACCOMODATIONS AT THE CONFERENCE: We have arranged a special rate of $69.99 + 
tax per day, beginning 20 March and ending 23 March, at the Jameson Inn in Richmond. Please
ask for the Animal Studies Conference rate. Call the Jameson at 859-623-0063, 
or email at 

Richmond.KY@Jamesoninns.com

Other accommodations are available nearby the Jameson and will be included in free shuttle
loop. These are Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites, Hampton Inn, and Comfort Inn. 

AIRPORTS FOR THE CONFERENCE: 

1. Lexington Blue Grass Airport (LEX) Distance: 37 miles from Richmond

http://www.bluegrassairport.com/airlines.html

Airport Information: (859) 425-3100. Airlines: Blue Grass Airport is serviced by seven major 
airlines providing 13 non-stop destinations and offering over 86 flights daily. 

2. Louisville International Airport (SDF) Distance: 103 miles 

http://www.flylouisville.com


Phone: (502) 367-4636 (automated information line) 

3. Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) Distance: approx. 113 miles 

http://www.cvgairport.com


Airport administration: (859) 767-3151 
Shuttle/Limo Service (800) 990-8841; Taxi Service (859) 767-3260


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Last Updated: December 2, 2012
Webweavers: Helene and Larry Lawson
lawson@pitt.edu

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