Call for abstracts for the edited volume ”Developing feminist animal studies: critical perspectives on food and eating”

We are looking for chapter proposals for an edited volume entitled ”Developing feminist animal studies: critical perspectives on food and eating”. If you are interested in contributing to this book, please submit an abstract (maximum 250 words), along with a brief bio to kadri.aavik@helsinki.fi by May 31, 2020. Decisions of acceptance of the abstracts will be made by early June. 

Photo: Jo-Anne McArthur / Animal Equality

UPDATE! Due to current circumstances related to the coronavirus, we have extended the deadline of the chapter proposals until May 31.

This edited volume advances feminist approaches in critical animal studies (CAS), exploring the cultural and structural oppression of non-human animals and possibilities for changing their condition from critical feminist perspectives. The volume focuses on analysing human–animal relations in the context of food production, consumption and politics. Concurrently, the edited collection responds to calls to develop distinctly feminist approaches to animal studies (see Fraser and Taylor 2018; Gruen et al. 2012; Gibson 2019). These approaches are needed to enable enriched intersectional analyses in CAS and to take into account broader developments in feminist studies that could further contribute to CAS, meanwhile challenging the anthropocentric frameworks of (mainstream) feminism. This volume offers an opportunity to consider how contemporary feminisms can inform CAS in the context of food and eating, thus offering novel insights into the development of feminist animal studies. 

Particularly ecofeminist scholarship (Adams 1990/2000; Cudworth 2005; Donovan 2006; Gaard 2002; Kemmerer 2011; Kheel 2008) has been central to the development of CAS and feminist animal studies, theorising links between sexism and speciesism and highlighting animal liberation as a feminist issue (see Twine 2010). While ecofeminist perspectives inspire the approaches in this book, the volume strives to complicate and challenge the narrow focus on gender/species intersections and theories of patriarchy that have been prevalent in much of ecofeminist research. 

In recent years, feminist analyses of animal oppression and approaches in CAS have critically engaged, for example, with posthumanism (Giraud 2019), colonialism and racism (Deckha 2012, Narayanan 2017), and the politics of mourning (Stanescu 2012). In addition, feminist methodologies have been developed to study humananimal relations (Birke 2014; Gillespie 2019). Despite these developments, research that utilises contemporary feminist approaches in CAS remains scattered. We suggest that contemporary feminisms provide a range of approaches that could be relevant to the development of feminist animal studies. For example, feminist theorists have examined nonhuman animals, food and eating from poststructuralist, new materialist, postcolonial, queer and science studies perspectives (e.g. Despret 2016; Giffney and Hird 2008; Hamilton 2016; Haraway 2016; Mol 2012; Mortimer-Sandilands and Erickson 2010; Muñoz et al 2015; Probyn 2016; Steinbock et al 2017; Tsing 2015). However, this theorisation has rarely taken a critical focus on the oppression of nonhuman animals nor centred on the question of food from the perspective of CAS. Thus, its implications and possibilities for benefitting CAS inspired feminist animal studies remain nearly unexplored.

Vegan scholars of colour have argued for the centrality of race in conceptualising veganism and our relationship to other animals (Harper 2010, Ko and Ko 2017). Disability theorists have pointed to the ableist underpinnings of our relationship to other animals, current food systems and debates about veganism (e.g. Taylor 2017). Queer, trans and critical race studies scholars have, for example, theorised “species identity” as a performative product that distinguishes humans from other species socially and politically (DellArvesano 2010). They have shown how racialisation works as part of the processes where human/animal boundaries and who counts as “human” are sedimented (Muñoz et al 2015). These scholars have also analysed how normative categorisations related to gender, sexuality and family intersect with those of nonhuman animals (Weaver 2015, 2017), arguing that love for nonhuman animals and multispecies styles of homemaking can question heteronormative family constellations and home spaces (McKeithen 2017). As these examples suggest, contemporary feminist scholarship has a potential to offer a variety of concepts and viewpoints that could enrich what we call feminist animal studies. In this book, we propose that there is a need to expand and enrich feminist scholarship in CAS by introducing to the field a range of feminist approaches that have been thus far employed to a limited extent in critical explorations of human–animal relations, food and eating.

We invite chapters that explore species-based oppression as an intersectional issue in the context of food consumption, production and politics from various feminist perspectives, including queer, trans, postcolonial, indigenous and disability studies feminisms. We welcome theoretical and methodological contributions as well as chapters based on empirical research. Activists are also welcome to contribute to the volume. We invite all chapters to explore the approach of feminist animal studies and/or feminist animal activism from their own perspectives. Chapter proposals can address, for instance, the following topics: 

  • Feminist perspectives to the oppression of animals in agricultural industries  
  • Institutional change in food production and consumption: transitioning beyond the animal-reliant food system and institutionalisation of plant-based eating as an intersectional issue  
  • Feminist insights into climate change, nonhuman animals and food production 
  • Veganism and its links to gender, race, class and decolonisation
  • Veganism and food justice 
  • Queer perspectives on food and eating
  • Food and eating in relation to ethnic and gendered identities
  • Problematising nationalism in relation to food and food politics
  • The concept of companion species and its relation to food production, consumption and politics
  • Feminist methodologies in studying human–animal relations in the context of food and farming
  • Contributions by new materialist or other theoretical approaches that have so far been less influential in CAS
  • Prospects of collaboration and mutual constitution of queer, trans, anti-racist, disability, postcolonial, indigenous, animal advocacy and environmental perspectives and activisms in relation to food and food cultures
  • Conceptualising links (including possible tensions) between CAS, feminist animal studies and ecofeminism (or between particular concepts/approaches used in these fields of study) 

Target audience 

This edited collection is intended for scholars, activists and students interested in feminist approaches to humananimal relations, food and eating. The interdisciplinary book is relevant for various disciplines in social sciences and humanities, including but not limited to gender studies, sociology, environmental humanities and environmental social sciences. 

Abstracts, manuscript workshop and timeline 

Due to current circumstances related to the coronavirus, we have extended the deadline of the chapter proposals. If you are interested in contributing to this book, please submit an abstract (maximum 250 words), along with a brief bio to kadri.aavik@helsinki.fi by May 31, 2020. Decisions of acceptance of the abstracts will be made in June. Please note that the final acceptance of the manuscripts will be done only after peer-review.

First drafts (3000–5000 words) are due September 15. Contributors are invited to discuss the manuscripts in a chapter workshop, which is organised on October at the University of Helsinki or online, depending on the corona virus situation. Final versions (ca 7000 words) are due December 15, 2020.

Editors and further information 

Kadri Aavik, PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Helsinki; Associate Professor of Gender Studies, Tallinn University, kadri.aavik(at)helsinki.fi 

Kuura Irni, PhD, University Lecturer in Gender Studies, University of Helsinki, kuura.irni(at)helsinki.fi 

Milla-Maria Joki, MA, Doctoral Researcher, University of Helsinki, milla-maria.joki(at)helsinki.fi 

Saara Kupsala, PhD, Postdoctoral Researcher, University of Helsinki, saara.kupsala(at)helsinki.fi 

The edited collection is prepared in a research project Climate Sustainability in the Kitchen – Everyday Food Cultures in Transition (University of Helsinki, 2018–2021). The project is funded by Kone Foundation. For further information, please visit the website of the project. 

References 

Adams, CJ. (1990/2010). The Sexual Politics of Meat: A Feminist Vegetarian Critical Theory. New York: Continuum.  

Birke, L. (2014). ”Listening to Voices: On the Pleasures and Problems of Studying Human–Animal Relationships.” In Taylor, N.Twine, R. (eds.) The Rise of Critical Animal Studies: From the Margins to the Centre, 71-87. Oxon: Routledge.   

Cudworth, E. (2005). Developing Ecofeminist Theory: The Complexity of Difference. Basingstoke: Palgrave.  

DeckhaM. (2012). Toward a Postcolonial, Posthumanist Feminist Theory: Centralizing Race and Culture in Feminist Work on Nonhuman Animals. Hypatia, 27(3), 527-545. 

DellArvesano, C. (2010). The Love Whose Name Cannot be Spoken: Queering the Human-Animal Bond. Journal for Critical Animal Studies, Volume VIII, Issue 1/2, 73-125.   

Despret, V., Buchanan, B. & Latour, B. (2016). What Would Animals Say If We Asked the Right Questions? Minneapolis, Minnesota; London, [England]: University of Minnesota Press. 

Donovan, J. (2006). Feminism and the Treatment of Animals: From Care to Dialogue. Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 31(2), 305-329.   

Fraser, H. & Taylor, N. (2018). Women, Anxiety and Companion Animals: Toward a Feminist Animal Studies of Interspecies Care and Solidarity. In Gruen, L. & Probyn-Rapsey, F. (eds.)Animaladies: Gender, Animals, and Madness. New York, NY: Bloomsbury.   

Gaard, G. (2002). Vegetarian Ecofeminism: A Review Essay. Frontiers: A Journal of Women Studies23(3), 117-146.   

Gibson, J. (2019). Just Fanciers: Transformative Justice by Way of Fancy Rat Breeding as a Loving Form of Life. Journal of Agricultural and Environmental Ethics, 32(1), 105-126.   

Giffney, N. & Hird, M. J. (eds.) (2008). Queering the Non/Human. Farnham: Ashgate.  

Gillespie, K. (2019). For a Politicized Multispecies Ethnography: Reflections on a Feminist Geographic Pedagogical Experiment. Politics and Animals, 5, 1-16.  

Giraud, E. H. (2019). What Comes After Entanglement? Activism, Anthropocentrism, and an Ethics of Exclusion. Durham and London: Duke University Press.   

Gruen, L., Weil, K., Oliver, K., Warkentin, T., Jenkins, S., Rohman, C., Clark, E. & Gaard, G. (2012). Introduction. Hypatia, 27(3), 492-526.  

Hamilton, C. (2016). Sex, Work, Meat: The Feminist Politics of Veganism. Feminist Review, 114, 112-129.  

Haraway, D. J. (2016). Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene. Durham and London: Duke University Press.   

Harper, B. (2010). Race as a ‘Feeble Matter’ in Veganism: Interrogating Whiteness, Geopolitical Privilege, and Consumption Philosophy of ‘Cruelty-Free’ Products. Journal for Critical Animal Studies,8(3), 5-27. 

Kemmerer, L. (2011). Sister Species: Women, Animals and Social Justice. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.   

Kheel, M. (2008). Nature Ethics: An Ecofeminist Perspective. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.   

Ko, A. & Ko S. (2017). Aphro-ism: Essays on Pop Culture, Feminism, and Black Veganism from Two Sisters. New York: Lantern Books.   

McKeithen, W(2017). Queer Ecologies of Home: Heteronormativity, Speciesism, and the Strange Intimacies of Crazy Cat Ladies. Gender, Place & Culture, 24(1), 122-134. 

Mol, A. (2012). Mind Your Plate! The Ontonorms of Dutch Dieting. Social Studies of Science, 43(3), 379396. 

Mortimer-Sandilands, C. & Erickson, B. (eds.) (2010). Queer Ecologies. Sex, Nature, Politics, Desire. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.   

Muñoz, J. E.Haritaworn, J., Hird, M. J.Jackson, Z. I., Puar, J. K., Joy E., McMillan, U., Stryker, S., TallBear, K., Weinstein, J.& Halberstam, J. (2015). Theorizing Queer InhumanismsGLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies, 21(23), 209-48. 

Narayanan, Y(2017). Street Dogs at the Intersection of Colonialism and Informality: ’Subaltern Animism’ as a Posthuman Critique of Indian Cities. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space35(3), 475-494. 

Probyn, E. (2016). Eating the Ocean. Durham and London: Duke University Press.   

Stanescu, J. (2012). Species Trouble: Judith Butler, Mourning, and the Precarious Lives of Animals. Hypatia, 27(3), 567–82.  

Steinbock, E., Szczygielska, M., & Wagner, A. (eds.) (2017). Special Issue: Tranimacies. Intimate Links between Animal and Trans* Studies. Angelaki: Journal of the Theoretical Humanities, 22(2). 

Taylor, S. (2017). Beasts of Burden: Animal and Disability Liberation. New York: The New Press.   

Tsing, A. L. (2015). The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins. Princeton: Princeton University Press.  

Twine, R. (2010). Intersectional Disgust? Animals and (Eco) Feminism. Feminism and Psychology, 20(3), 397-406.  

Weaver, H. (2015). Pit Bull Promises. Inhuman Intimacies and Queer Kinships in an Animal Shelter. GLQ: A Journal of Lesbian and Gay Studies21(23), 343-63.   

Weaver, H. (2017). Feminisms, Fuzzy Sciences and Interspecies Intersectionalities. The Promises and Perils of Contemporary Dog Training. Catalyst. Feminism, Theory, Technoscience3(1), 1-27. 

Call for papers for the workshop ”Violence against non-human animals: intersectional perspectives”

Call for papers for the workshop Violence against non-human animals: intersectional perspectives

Gender Studies Conference 2019 On Violence, 24-26 October 2019, Helsinki

Deadline for the abstracts: the 30th of April, 2019

This workshop examines violence towards non-human animals. Examining and rethinking (violent) human-animal relations is especially pertinent in the Anthropocene an era where human beings are profoundly transforming the planet. Human-induced phenomena, such as climate change, have significant, and often damaging, consequences for the wellbeing of ecosystems, as well as for numerous humans and non-human animals living on Earth.

The workshop invites to examine how violence in human-animal relations is manifested in its various forms. We particularly welcome papers that take an intersectional perspective to analyse how categories such as gender, race, class, and ability are configured in violence towards non-human animals. We also encourage papers to engage with questions of how to end violence against non-human animals and positively transform human-animal relations. We invite papers from ecofeminist, posthumanist, critical animal studies, postcolonial and other critical perspectives to consider how violence towards animals figures in discourses as well as in material practices, such as food practices. The workshop is organised by the project Climate Sustainability in the Kitchen: Everyday Food Cultures in Transition at the University of Helsinki.

Workshop organizers: Kadri Aavik, Milla-Maria Joki and Saara Kupsala

Please submit your abstract (max 2000 characters with spaces) by the 30th of April using this e-form.

For further information, see the conference web page.

The conference is organized and hosted by the Gender Studies Discipline of The University of Helsinki together with the Association for Gender Studies in Finland (SUNS).

Welcome!

Contribution from our project to the new book “Through a Vegan Studies Lens: Textual Ethics and Lived Activism”, edited by Laura Wright

The book Through a Vegan Studies Lens: Textual Ethics and Lived Activism (2019, University of Nevada Press), edited by Laura Wright, develops the new and emerging field of vegan studies. The essays in this edited volume critically analyse representations of veganism in contemporary cultures and societies. The volume is published in the series Cultural Ecologies of Food in the 21st Century by the University of Nevada Press. The volume consists of 14 chapters written from various perspectives such as cultural studies and critical theory.

Dr. Kadri Aavik from our project contributed with a chapter “The Rise of Veganism in Post-Socialist Europe: Making Sense of Emergent Vegan Practices and Identities in Estonia”. The chapter critically examines the emergence of veganism as a new social and cultural phenomenon and a social movement in post-socialist Europe, focusing on Estonia, where veganism as a practice and identity was not available until recently, due to historical reasons. The chapter considers ways in which veganism disrupts some social and cultural norms in Estonia. It suggests that an intersectional perspective is useful to understand representations of veganism and practices of vegans in more nuanced ways.

Discussions about veganism, intersectionality and climate sustainability at Think Corner

On Wednesday 28th of November 2018 the project team of Climate Sustainability in the Kitchen organized an intriguing event called Food Cultures in Transition: Veganism, Intersectionality and Climate Sustainability at Think Corner. The event dealt with social, cultural and political negotiations on climate sustainable foods and veganism: how are identities, norms and institutional practices negotiated when people switch to plant-based eating? A focus on intersectionality involves paying attention to various forms of inequalities and power relations, including racialisation, in the contexts of food production, consumption and food politics. 

The event was chaired by Kuura Irni, who is the leader of our project and University Lecturer of Gender Studies at University of Helsinki.

The first speaker of the event was Lilli Munck, who has developed vegan recipes in our project. Munck is a restaurant chef and she also studies home economics at the University of Helsinki. Munck has specialized in vegan cooking. She has developed vegan recipes for several food brands and restaurants. In this event, she talked in Finnish about her experiences developing climate sustainable vegan recipes for professional kitchens.  

The next speaker was supposed to be Postdoctoral Scholar Sanna Karhu, but unfortunately she fell ill and was not able to participate.  

The second speaker was Tania Nathan, who currently works as a support teacher with migrants, young refugees and asylum seekers. She has also worked as a journalist and writer in Malaysia, Australia and Finland. She discussed questions of decolonisation and food justice from the perspective of racialisation. 

Finally, we had an interview with Kadri Aavik and Panda Eriksson. Kadri is Postdoctoral Researcher at University of Helsinki and Associate Professor of Gender Studies at Tallinn University. Her current research focuses on studying vegan men and masculinities, and previously she has studied the Baltic animal advocacy movement from an intersectional perspective and feminists’ views on animal liberation. Panda is a human rights and animal rights activist. They are the chairperson of Trasek ry which promotes the interests and rights of gender minorities. They also work as a researcher in the Minority Profile project at the Åbo Akademi University.

In the interview, Kadri and Panda talked about what intersectionality entails and what are the challenges in relation to the vegan movement, and what kind of cooperation and solidarity there is or could be between the vegan movement and other social justice movements.

We would like to thank the audience for joining the event and posing important questions!

Below you can find a recording of the whole event as well as links to the presentation files.

Lilli Munck’s presentation slides (in Finnish): Ilmastokestävyys keittiössä

Tania Nathan’s presentation slides: Decolonizing Our Thinking

Watch the whole event from this video!

Welcome to follow the stream of the event Veganism, Intersectionality and Climate Sustainability @ Think Corner! / Tervetuloa seuraamaan striimiä Veganism, Intersectionality and Climate Sustainability -tapahtumasta @ Tiedekulma!

Julkaissut Climate Sustainability in the Kitchen Keskiviikkona 28. marraskuuta 2018

 

Event photos taken by Milla-Maria Joki