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. 

Students of the University of Helsinki! ”Climate Sustainability in the Kitchen” is looking for a research assistant

The project  Climate Sustainability in the Kitchen – Everyday Food Cultures in Transition is funded by Kone Foundation and carried out in Gender Studies at the University of Helsinki in 2018-2020, directed by Dr. Kuura Irni. The project examines cultural change where more climate sustainable plant-based foods are emerging in everyday diets also in the Northern European contexts. The project is interdisciplinary, exploring the topic from the perspectives of gender studies, sociology, critical animal studies and environmental social science and in a variety of contexts, including lunch canteens, households, media discussions and policy making. In addition to conducting research, in cooperation with various food sector players and NGOs, the project develops climate sustainable vegan recipes for lunch restaurants.

The project accepts applications for:

A RESEARCH ASSISTANT

The position is available for students (preferably MA) of the University of Helsinki. The position is for 3 months (full-time) starting from spring 2019 (the exact starting date will be negotiated with the project team). We are also open to part-time work for a longer duration, depending on the availability and preference of the candidate. The salary is 2042 € to 2153 € per month.

The research assistant will mainly participate in two research activities: 1) a study on vegan men and masculinities in Estonia and Finland. Tasks include participation in the analysis of the material and finding relevant literature. 2) a customer survey conducted in lunch restaurants in Finland. Tasks with the survey include transferring the survey data into electronic form and carrying out analyses on numeric and written answers in the forms. Additionally, the research assistant can assist in mapping sustainable food transition processes in large-scale food catering.

In addition, the research assistant will be involved in other, mainly practical tasks related to running the project, such as helping to organise events and communicating project activities to broader audiences.

We expect familiarity with at least the basics of qualitative and quantitative research (and preferably some experience in using both approaches), good working proficiency with Excel, good knowledge of Finnish and English, and an interest in the project themes. Some knowledge of SPSS is recommendedWe also expecwillingness to independently obtain additional knowledge on using methods and software if necessary.

Everyone who works in the project is expected to follow safer space principles, including building a safer working environment for racialised, queer and trans persons. The theme of the project is related to plant-based food and veganism, which means that familiarity with plant-based food is an asset. The food served in all project team meetings and other project events is plant-based.  

Please send your CV and a Letter of Motivation by March 1 to climatekitchen@helsinki.fi. Any inquiries about the position should also be sent to the same address. 

Interviews with selected candidates will be held in March at the University of Helsinki.

We look forward to hearing from you!

The ”Climate Sustainability in the Kitchen” project team

Two-year doctoral research  grant  available in the project  “Climate Sustainability in the Kitchen” at Gender Studies unit of University of Helsinki

The University of Helsinki (UH) is the oldest and largest university in Finland, with over 40  000 students and researchers. It is among the top 100 multidisciplinary research universities in the world. The Faculty of Arts at UH is Finland’s most diverse faculty in terms of the organisation and selection of its disciplines. The Gender Studies unit at UH carries out multidisciplinary critical research. 

The  project  “Climate Sustainability in the Kitchen – Everyday Food Cultures in Transition” is funded by Kone Foundation and carried out in Gender Studies unit at University of Helsinki in 2018-2020, directed by Dr. Kuura Irni. The project examines cultural change where more climate sustainable plant-based foods are emerging in everyday diets also in the Northern European contexts. Thus far, project researchers have focused on Finland and Estonia. The project is interdisciplinary, exploring the topic from the perspectives of gender studies, sociology, critical animal studies and environmental social science and in a variety of contexts, including lunch canteens, households, media discussions and policy making. In addition to conducting research, in cooperation with various food sector players and NGOs, the project develops 30 climate sustainable vegan recipes for lunch restaurants. 

The project accepts applications for:

A PROJECT-BASED DOCTORAL RESEARCHER  

 a fixed-term 2-year scholarship of 2400 euros per month

Please note that this is not a salary-based employment contract but a scholarship (apuraha in Finnish).  You are responsible for acquiring a MYEL insurance. You will be able to use (limited) travel funding for participating in conferences.

TASKS AND EXPECTATIONS 

  • The main duties of the researcher include full-time research – working on your own (prospective) PhD project that aligns with the themes of our project.
  • The position requires scholarly publishing independently as well as in collaboration with members of the project team.
  • We are particularly looking for a researcher who is willing to develop decolonial or indigenous feminist perspectives and/or critical analysis of race and racism in combination with critical animal studies and/or critical analysis of current normative, animal-based food cultures and food production.  This is to enable other than Western queer and transgender theory-based analyses of sexual and gender variety.  An interest in environmental or animal advocacy activisms is an asset.
  • The researcher is expected to participate in other activities of the project, for example organising events, seminars and communication to the general public.
  • This project follows the equality and accessibility instructions of UH, and operates a safer working spaces policy.  The food served in all  project team meetings and other project events is plant-based.
  • It is strongly preferred that you live in Helsinki (or in the vicinity) for the duration of the scholarship, for you to fully participate in the project work.

QUALIFICATIONS 

  • Master’s degree in a field relevant to the project (for example, in humanities, social sciences or environmental social science) needs to be finished before you start in the project.
  • Familiarity with Gender Studies.
  • Interest and willingness to apply to the UH Doctoral Programme in Gender, Culture and Society and to conduct your PhD in this Programme.
  • Ability to conduct research independently and in collaboration with other scholars in the project.
  • Fluency in English (spoken and written). Knowledge of Finnish language is of use in the  project but is not mandatory. Our project team meetings and communication are conducted in English. 

APPLICATION PROCESS  

Please send the following documents by email to climatekitchen(at)helsinki.fi  by February 15, 2019:

  1. Curriculum vitae, including list of publications 
  2. Sample of your academic writing (for example, an article manuscript or a thesis chapter) 
  3. Research plan for 2 years 
  4. Letter of motivation 

The research plan and a sample of your scientific writing can be in English, Finnish or Swedish, and the other documents need to be in English.  

Please explain in the Letter of motivation how your background, previous experience and your (prospective) PhD project  relate  to the themes of our project, why you would be motivated to work with us, and what kind of research you would like to conduct during the two years you will participate in  the  project. 

Please prepare to participate in an interview either in person (preferred) or via Skype. The  interviews will be conducted in February 2019.  The chosen applicant is expected to start in the project as soon as possible.  

FURTHER INFORMATION 

 For any inquiries about the position and about the “Climate Kitchen” project, please contact project researchers:

Kuura Irni (kuura.irni(at)helsinki.fi) (Finnish and English)

Saara Kupsala (saara.kupsala(at)helsinki.fi) (Finnish and English) 

Kadri Aavik (kadri.aavik(at)helsinki.fi) (in English)
 

We look forward to  hearing from you!  

The “Climate Sustainability in the Kitchen” project team

Welcome to our blog! Tervetuloa lukemaan blogiamme!

Photo: Milla-Maria Joki

Welcome to the blog of the project Climate Sustainability in the Kitchen – Everyday Food Cultures in Transition!

We are a group of researchers, assistants and other specialists who examine the cultural change where a growing number of climate sustainable plant-based foods are emerging in everyday diets. We consider this in a variety of contexts, including lunch canteens, households, media discussions and policy making. The project explores the topic from the perspectives of gender studies, sociology, critical animal studies and environmental sciences. Additionally, based on action research and cooperation with various food sector players and NGOs, the project develops 30 climate sustainable vegan recipes for lunch restaurants. The project is funded by the Kone Foundation and is carried out in the gender studies unit at the University of Helsinki in 2018-2020.

In this blog, we will write about our events, research and work in general. General posts will be both in English and Finnish, however, other texts will be written only in English or in Finnish.

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Tervetuloa lukemaan Ilmastokestävyys keittiössä – ruokakulttuurin murroksen arkiset mahdollisuudet -hankkeen blogia!

Hankkeen takana on ryhmä tutkijoita, avustajia ja muita asiantuntijoita. Tarkastelemme aluillaan olevaa kulttuurista murrosta, jossa ilmastokestävän vegaanisen ruoan käyttö lisääntyy arkiruokavalioissa. Hanke tutkii ilmiötä useilla kentillä, joihin lukeutuvat niin suuret ammattikeittiöt, kotitaloudet, mediakeskustelu kuin politiikkakin. Ruokakysymystä pohditaan monitieteisesti, yhdistellen feminististä tutkimusta, sosiologiaa, kriittistä eläintutkimusta ja yhteiskunnallista ympäristötutkimusta. Tutkimuksen rinnalla hankkeessa on toiminnallinen puoli, jossa kehitetään noin 30 ilmastokestävää ja vegaanista reseptiä lounasravintoloiden käyttöön. Reseptien kehittämistä ja käyttöönottoa tutkitaan toimintatutkimuksen näkökulmista. Koneen Säätiön rahoittama hanke toteutetaan Helsingin yliopistossa vuosina 2018-2020.

Tässä blogissa kirjoitamme tapahtumistamme, tutkimuksestamme sekä muusta työstämme. Yleiset julkaisut kirjoitetaan sekä suomeksi että englanniksi, mutta muut julkaisut kirjoitetaan jommallakummalla kielellä.