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).


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