Dear Dairy: The True Cost of Milk
A One Day Symposium organized by the New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies
On Friday 21 July a free symposium on the New Zealand Dairy Industry was held at Dovedale Campus, featuring international speakers from Australia, USA, Sweden and India, as well as our own NZ scholars in this field. Download the programme here.
刘强 Liu Qiang 29h59’59” 2008
Photo by Ng Han Guan
NZCHAS at Australasian Animal Studies Association Conference
The NZ Centre for Human-Animal Studies is delighted to report that our delegates at the 2017 Australasian Animal Studies Conference in Adelaide did a wonderful job of disseminating the great research going on in Aotearoa, and representing the Centre and Canterbury University. The team that travelled to Adelaide included Philip Armstrong (who spoke about the role of sheep in comparative psychology), Annie Potts (who delivered a keynote talk on anthropocentrism in disaster management), Dr Raj Sekhar Aich (who spoke about sharks in poetry and the visual arts, and also on his research into human-shark relationships), Kirsty Dunn (who talked about animals and Maori food ethics), Sara Wagstaff (who talked about methodological issues in equine-centred research), Yu-Ling Kung (who talked about animals in kung-fu films/culture),and Honorary AustraZealander Donelle Gadenne, who completed her MA in English at NZCHAS (Donelle spoke about the abuse of cows at a local rural event, the Compass Cup).
And we are also over the moon to announce that NZCHAS doctoral scholar Kirsty Dunn (Te Rarawa, Te Aupouri) was awarded the Denise Russell Postgraduate Prize for Excellence in Animal Ethics for her talk called "Wharekai on Line: Maori Perspectives on Veganism and Dietary Ethics".
Furthermore, at the same conference Philip Armstrong was elected the new Chair of the Australasian Animal Studies Association.Also: Annie Potts' bid for NZCHAS to host the next AASA conference in 2019 was successful. Preparation of this bid was financially and adminstratively supported by Tourism NZ, who will remain the key supporters of the AASA event in Aotearoa in 2019.
New Book on 'Meat Culture'
Associate Professor Annie Potts (of the Departments of English and Cultural Studies and the New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies) has edited a new book just published as part of Brill's highly-respected Human Animal Studies series. Entitled Meat Culture, the volume brings together new essays that examine the place and meanings of meat in Western societies. The first chapter, by Annie herself, introduces and conceptualises the idea of ‘meat culture’ within a wide historical and global context. Subsequent chapters, by thirteen other scholars from around the world, deal with topics as varied as hamburger ad campaigns, the European horsemeat scandal, live export, factory farming, horror fiction, environmentalism, nationalism, family life, xenophobia, gender, and popular culture..... [read more]
NZCHAS Scholars' Work on 'De-Extinction' the Focus of New Journal Issue
The latest issue of Animal Studies Journal, one of the foremost international journals in the field of human-animal studies, features a focus on 'de-extinction', consisting of articles by four NZCHAS members:
Dr Douglas Campbell writes on 'The Authenticity of De-Extinct Organisms',
Dr Carolyn Mason assesses 'The Unnaturalness Objection to De-Extinction',
and Professor Henrietta Mondry discusses 'Mammoths, Lenin's Tomb, and Neo-Eurasianism'.
'Sheep' on the Horizon
Associate Professor Philip Armstrong (of the Department of English and the New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies) has just published his latest book, a study of the natural and cultural history of sheep. The book is part of Reaktion Books' influential 'Animal' series.... [read more]
Listen to Philip's interview about the book with National Radio's Kim Hill here.
'A superb volume that more than meets the high bar set in the Reaktion Books Animal Series' -- Barbara J. King, TLS.
Download the full TLS review of Sheep here.
Memorandum of Understanding signed between the University of Canterbury and Kassel University regarding Human-Animal Studies
An co-operation agreement between the University of Canterbury and Germany's Kassel University has just been signed to facilitate collaboration between UC's New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies and Kassel's Tier-Mensch-Gesellschaft (Humans, Animals and Society) research cluster. The two research centres have committed to pursuing exchanges and collaborations in teaching and research. The first exchanges will take place in 2017, when Dr André Krebber comes to UC, and Associate Professor Annie Potts and Associate Professor Philip Armstrong travel to Kassel, as part of the Erasmus+ programme, a European Union programme to fund international scholarly exchanges.
2016 NZCHAS Prizes for Excellence in Human-Animal Studies
NZCHAS is delighted to announce the winners of its annual prizes for excellence in Human-Animal Studies.
The NZCHAS Undergraduate Prize has been awarded to Chevy Rendell (pictured) who was enrolled this year in ENGL243/CULT206 "From Bambi to Kong: Animals in American Popular Culture" (taught by Annie Potts). Chevy's first essay in this course focused on "human-animal inversion in the horror film The Descent", and his second essay interrogated commercial chicken farming and consumer deception via an analysis of Tyson Food's website.
The NZCHAS Postgraduate Prize has been jointly awarded to Rachel Innes and Abigail Egden, who were enrolled this year in ANT410/CULT421 "Multispecies Anthropology: Other Species in Human Life" (taught by Piers Locke). Rachel's first assignment, “Microbiology and The Multispecies Turn”, involved a critical summary of Stefan Helmreich’s new book “Sounding The Limits of Life: Essays in The Anthropology of Biology and Beyond”; her research essay was called “More-Than-Human Others, Ethics, and The Law: The Biopolitics of Multispecies Bodies and The Right To Have Rights”. Abigail's first assignment, “We Are Gattaca, Gattaca is Here”, involved a critical summary of Anna Tsing’s “The Mushroom at The End of The World: On The Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins”, and her research essay was titled “The Political Ontology of Borrelia Burgdorferi”.
Absence of a Monster: Film Based on HAS PhD Research
Raj Shekhar Aich, a PhD student associated with NZCHAS, has made a short film (in collaboration with Susan Lucas) about his research project on cage diving with great white sharks. The film, entitled Absence of a Monster, can be viewed at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r35R3q4mI3s.
Raj's PhD is proceeding under the supervision of NZCHAS members Dr Piers Locke and Dr Barbara Garrie. The project is entitled Encountering White Sharks: Photographic Practice and the Affective Impacts of Cage Diving. Raj writes: 'The southern most commercial White shark cage diving operations in the world takes place between Bluff and Stewart Island, New Zealand. My research explores the affective impact of these practices on the divers, and the significance of associated photographic practices.... [read more]
Political Animals: Dogs in Modern Russian Culture
Political Animals: Representing Dogs in Russian Culture (Brill 2015), the latest book by Professor Henrietta Mondry (of the Departments of English and Russian, and the New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies), has been reviewed at length and very positively in Slavic Review (75.1, Spring 2016, pp. 218-19), the foremost international journal in its field. The reviewer describes Political Animals as a “significant contribution to the growing field of animal studies”, and singles out for special praise the book’s “impressive range of scholarship”, its virtuoso investigation of a “diverse set of texts and contexts”, and its “particularly productive” exploration of Russian folk beliefs.
NZCHAS Research Students Graduate with Distinction
The New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies congratulates Master of Arts candidates Kirsty Dunn and Donelle Gadenne who graduated with Distinction in December 2015. Kirsty’s thesis is entitled Inherit the World, Devour the Earth: Representations of Western Meat Production and Consumption in Contemporary Fiction and can be accessed here: http://ir.canterbury.ac.nz/handle/10092/11340. Donelle’s thesis is called A Canine-centric Critique of Selected Dog Narratives and can be accessed here: http://ir.canterbury.ac.nz/handle/10092/10768
Aotearoa New Zealand Human-Animal Studies Conference: November 5th and 6th, 2015
Over forty members, associates, students and friends of the New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies attended our conference in November 2015.
See the conference programme here.
See pictures from the conference here.
Animals in Emergencies: Learning from the Christchurch Earthquakes
This richly-illustrated book by NZCHAS members Annie Potts and Donelle Gadenne vividly recounts the experiences of many Christchurch residents, human and animal alike, during the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes and their aftermath. The authors analyse these accounts to offer practical lessons in emergency animal management.
Read the review by internationally-renowned expert in animal behaviour, Professor Marc Bekoff.
Mendel's Ark: Biotechnology and the Future of Extinction
NZCHAS member Dr Amy Fletcher has just published a ground-breaking study of the ethical, cultural and social implications of using biotechnological tools to reverse the extinction of species.
A New Zealand Book of Beasts: Animals in our History, Culture and Everyday Life
Three NZCHAS members, Associate Professors Annie Potts, Philip Armstrong and Deidre Brown, have just published the first comprehensive human-animal studies analysis of New Zealand's history, literature, visual arts, popular culture and everday life.
Forging Links with Swedish Critical Animal Studies
From March until June 2014, Annie Potts was an invited Research Fellow at the Pufendorf Institute for Advanced Studies, Lund University, Sweden, where she was part of the “Exploring the Animal Turn” project, led by Tobias Linne, Amelie Bjorck, Helena Pedersen and Ann-Sofie Lonngren.
Annie Potts and Philip Armstrong were both keynote presenters at the Pufendorf Institute’s conference of the same name in May 2014.
In November 2014 Annie and Philip are invited guests of Uppsala University’s HumAnimal group, which is part of the Institute for Gender Research. There they will be continuing their work with Ann-Sofie Lonngren, and also working with Tora Holmberg, Jacob Bull and Anna Samuelsson.
NZCHAS is also pleased to announce that Dr Tobias Linne, expert on Media Studies and Critical Animal Studies at Lund University will be our centre’s invited Research Fellow from March until June 2015. While at Canterbury University, Tobias will be involved in teaching ENGL411/CULT418 Writing Nature, Representing Animals, which runs during the first semester of 2015; and also continuing the research project started with Annie and Philip in Sweden.
A major new study of the cultural history and significance of Gallus gallus domesticus, the domestic chicken, has just been published by NZCHAS Co-director Associate Professor Annie Potts.
The book traces the evolutionary and natural history of chickens and describes the ways in which they experience their world. It explores the place of chickens in human history and in many different cultures, and concludes with a detailed analysis of the place of chickens in the world today.
'In this brilliant book, Potts challenges us to see chickens as creatures who think and feel in complex ways all of their own... This series notably mixes historical and cross-cultural research with gorgeous illustrations; Chicken is no exception.' – TLS
‘Animal Earthquake Stories’
NZCHAS Co-Director Annie Potts is collecting people’s written stories and about pet animals and the Christchurch earthquakes. She is interested in hearing stories about pet loss or death, or the relinquishment of pets; as well as stories about animal rescue, the rehoming of displaced pets, and happy reunions. Annie is keen to hear about how different species reacted to and were affected by the quakes, including cats, dogs, mice, rats, horses, birds, insects even! If you would like to tell your animal’s story, then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Annie will then send you more information about the study, including what your involvement will entail and how your story will fit into the project.
Annie Potts with Pinky McFarlane, the noseless cat she rehomed following the 22 February earthquake. Also pictured is Annie’s friend, Sharon McFarlane, who lived with Pinky for 18 years before their Beckenham house was red-stickered.
ZCHAS Symposium: 'Cultural Animals'
Addressing animal abuse and the effectiveness of animal assisted therapy were just two of the research projects showcased at a human-animal studies symposium held at the University of Canterbury on September 21, 2011. The symposium, called Cultural Animals, was hosted by the New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies (NZCHAS), ... [read more]
In memoriam: Marti Kheel
Researchers and students around the world will be deeply saddened to hear of the death of leading ecofeminist and human-animal studies scholar and advocate (and NZCHAS associate) Marti Kheel ... [read more]
NZCHAS Co-Director Interviewed by Kim Hill
An interview with Associate Professor Annie Potts, the co-director of NZCHAS, featured on Kim Hill's Saturday Morning Programme on National Radio on November 5. Associate Professor Potts spoke about chickens in general, and more specifically about her forthcoming book, Chicken (Reaktion: 2011). [download the podcast here].
Australian Animal Studies Group (AASG) Website Launched
NZCHAS congratulates the Australian Animal Studies Group (formerly the Animals and Society Study Group [Aust]) on the launch of their new website. The website can be seen at www.aasg.org.au. The media release on the launch of the website can be found here.
The Politics of Carol J. Adams
The latest issue of Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture features an interview by Annie Potts with NZCHAS International Associate Carol J. Adams, renowned author of The Sexual Politics of Meat (and numerous other books on human-animal relations). In the interview Adams discusses how she became passionate about human-animal politics, what ‘feminist vegetarian critical theory’ entails, and what the term ‘anthropornography’ means in relation to her work. Adams also elaborates on the contemporary proliferation of popular cultural images depicting what she terms the ‘animalization of women’ and the ‘feminization and sexualization of animals’; and comments on the recent use in so-called ‘art’ of live animals, as well as carcasses and dismembered animals. The full interview can be viewed on-line via http://www.antennae.org.uk/.
(Annie Potts also recently interviewed Donna Haraway, author of When Species Meet. This paper, “Kiwi Chicken Advocate Talks with Californian Dog Companion” appears in the latest issue of Feminism & Psychology which focuses on “Psychology, Feminism and Nonhuman Others).
Publication of Special Issue on Psychology, Feminism and Animals
NZCHAS Co-Director Annie Potts has edited the latest issue of the international refereed journal Feminism & Psychology, which is dedicated to exploring the intersections between human-animal studies, feminist theory, gender and psychology. The issue features contributions by NZCHAS Associates Carol J. Adams, Donna Haraway, Rebecca Bishop, pattrice jones, Gay Bradshaw, Lynda Birke, Richard Twine and doctoral students Jovian Parry and Ben Merriman. See the issue's Table of Contents.
NZCHAS Member Dr Piers Locke presented his film Servants of Ganesh on Friday August 20, 10am, Room 252, Level 2, Link Block, Psychology-Sociology Building.
This is the first book on the pedagogy of Human-Animal Studies, and Dr DeMello has brought together essays by academics in fields as diverse as History, Literary Studies, Law, Sociology, Ecology and Veterinary Science.
Each of the fifteen chapters introduces the main philosophical and practical issues entailed by teaching HAS in the context of a particular discipline or field, and includes accounts of the experiences of teachers and students, along with sample curricula and an extensive filmography and bibliography. The first chapter, by NZCHAS members Annie Potts and Philip Armstrong, addresses the implications of teaching about animals in Cultural Studies Courses.
Publication of Research on "VEGANSEXUALITY"
In 2007 the word "vegansexuality" entered the global lexicon, when NZCHAS Co-Director Annie Potts used it in a newspaper interview to describe the preference for vegetarian or vegan sexual partners, which had been expressed by some participants in a recently-completed study on ethical consumption in New Zealand.
The story quickly went viral, producing headlines around the world, and a flurry of pro- and anti- blogs, websites, t-shirts and youtube clips. Now Associate Professor Potts, in collaboration with NZCHAS graduate Jovian Parry, has published a discussion of the powerful, revealing and sometimes worrying reactions that emerged in response to the notion of vegansexuality. Potts and Parry's article is entitled "Vegan Sexuality: Challenging Heteronormative Masculinity through Meat-free Sex", and it appears in Feminism & Psychology, 20(1), pages 53-72.
Dr Michael Morris from Marine and Environmental Management at the Bay of Plenty Polytechnic has just published an article called “The Ethics and Politics of Animal Welfare in New Zealand: Broiler Chicken Production as a Case Study’ in the prestigious Journal of Agriculture and Environmental Ethics (Volume 22, 2009, pp. 15-30).
In this article, Morris argues that, while there are many causes of poor welfare in broiler chickens (chickens bred for meat), the most significant factor is genotype. In other words, broiler chickens have been selectively bred to grow faster and bigger (to produce meat quicker) at the expense of the birds’ health and well-being. Rapid growth in broiler chickens causes (amongst other things) the birds’ muscles to outgrow their skeletons resulting in lameness, leg fractures and chronic pain. Morris investigates the attitudes of government to broiler chicken welfare issues, ultimately arguing that improvements to the lives of chickens grown for meat in this country might only be possible under an independent animal welfare advisory service.
For more details contact: Michael.Morris@boppoly.ac.nz
Publication of book on Animal Law in NZ and Australia
The original laws protecting animals from human mistreatment arose from community concern in the 19th century, and today community expectations are even higher. Most Australians and New Zealanders assume that their animal welfare laws still provide sufficient protection for animals, that cruelty is the exception and that, when exposed, the perpetrators are prosecuted. They are wrong on all counts.
This book is a scholarly examination of the legal relationship between humans and animals in Australia and New Zealand. It asks whether existing laws really do protect animals, and, where the law comes up short, how it could be improved. The questions explored go beyond animal welfare and challenge the reader to think about the nature of legal interests, and practical and ethical contexts for a range of laws.
Australian, New Zealand and international academics and practitioners cover topics ranging from core concepts and theoretical questions around “animal welfare” and law, to specific matters of concern: animal cruelty sentencing, live animal export, recreational hunting, and commercial uses of animals in farming and research.
Animal Law in Australasia can be purchased online from www.federationpress.com.au
NZCHAS course wins 2008 International Animals and Society Course Award
Dr Annie Potts, Co-Director of NZCHAS, has won the 2008 award for best established course in the field of animals and society. Dr Potts's course, "From Bambi to Kong: The Animal in American Popular Culture", was chosen from a field of international applicants by the judging panel from the Humane Society of the United States. The awards recognize excellence in courses concerning the human-animal bond, human obligations toward animals, the status of animals, and related topics. Past recipients have included scholars working in academic fields including animal science, animal-assisted therapy, anthropology, archeology, art, biology, communications, culture studies, education, environmental studies, ethology, history, law, literature, medicine, philosophy, political science, psychology, religion, sociology and veterinary medicine.
Judges use criteria such as depth and rigor within the topic, impact on the field of human-animal studies, and originality of approach. Competitive entries for the awards would be courses that bring the study of animals and society into new arenas; approach the field from a novel perspective, or make use of novel teaching methods; provide exposure to students who would not otherwise address academic issues relating to animals and society; or are tailored to participants whose learning experience will have a direct impact upon animals and/or animal protection.
NZ Centre for Human-Animal Studies Summer Scholarship
NZCHAS was fortunate this year to be awarded a Summer Scholarship from the University of Canterbury. Several students applied for the opportunity to spend the university break over summer working on a project in the field of HAS. The successful applicant was Jovian Parry, a Cultural Studies Honours student specializing in Human-Animal Studies. Jovian has taken all the papers offered in the HAS stream in the College of Arts and is has most recently completed extended research on slaughter narratives in popular culture. The project he will be working on during the tenure of his Summer Scholarship is titled: “Animal abuse as an indicator of domestic violence: Studying ‘the link’ in the context of New Zealand”. Specifically Jovian will be comparing local and international findings on ‘the link’, and identifying knowledge gaps in the context of New Zealand.
Award for Poetry Chapbook
Congratulations to NZCHAS member Claire Hero, whose poetry chapbook, afterpastures, won the 2007 Caketrain Chapbook Competition. The poems in afterpastures explore human-animal relationships and the effect of livestock production on natural landscapes. The chapbook will be released in May 2008, and can be ordered from www.caketrain.org.
Publication of Book on Animals in Modern Fiction
January 2008 saw the publication by Routledge of What Animals Mean in the Fiction of Modernity, by NZCHAS Co-Director Philip Armstrong.
What Animals Mean begins by examining the function of animals and animal representations in four classic novels: Robinson Crusoe, Gulliver’s Travels, Frankenstein and Moby Dick. The later chapters then explore how these stories have been re-worked, in ways that reflect shifting social and environmental forces, by later novelists including H G Wells, D H Lawrence, Ernest Hemingway, Franz Kafka, Brigid Brophy, Bernard Malamud, Will Self, Margaret Atwood, Yann Martel and J M Coetzee.
Read the transcript of an interview with Philip Armstrong about this book on Australia's ABC National Radio.
Order What Animals Mean by Philip Armstrong
NZCHAS on Radio NZ National (December 2007)
NZCHAS Co-Directors Annie Potts and Philip Armstrong featured on Radio New Zealand National's "Ideas" programme on 9 December 2007, a feature about Human-Animal Relations. The programme was described as follows:
Inarguably, New Zealand’s identity and economy owes much to our agricultural background. As the saying goes, this country’s prosperity was built “off the sheep’s back”. And of late, New Zealand has acquired a reputation as a country that works hard to save its endangered animal species, and supports moves to protect similarly endangered animals overseas. But as our environmental awareness has changed over time, is it correct to assume that our treatment of our less exotic animals has changed as well? Agriculture, which continues to be hugely important in our economy and culture, also accounts for the majority of all animal testing in New Zealand. And while we are enthusiastic pet-owners, our record of cruelty towards them is the equal of anywhere in the Western World.
This contradiction in our attitudes has been charted in a recent study conducted by the New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies at Canterbury University. The study records the emergence of a group of people who identify themselves as cruelty-free consumers. They reject the picture of intensive farming, meat-eating and wearing animal products, and what they consider to be the false image of New Zealand as a “clean, green” paradise, and significantly, they are spending their money elsewhere.
Is this growing sense of disquiet highlighting a division in this country between traditional values and an emerging culture of animal ethicists? Could our treatment of animals have wider implications for the nature of our society? Why have some of us stopped riding on the sheep’s back?"
To download a podcast of this programme, go to http://radiotime.com/program/p_57495/Ideas_(RNZ).aspx and scroll down to "9 December 2007"
Vegan Sexuality in the news (AUGUST 2007)
NZCHAS researchers made headlines recently for noting that a number of vegetarians and vegans participating in a study on cruelty-free consumption in New Zealand preferred to be in intimate relationships with other vegetarians and vegans.
The term ‘vegansexuality' was coined by Dr Annie Potts after identifying a very small number of informants who refused on ethical grounds to have intimate relations with non-vegetarians: “Vegans are committed to cruelty-free lifestyles, and for some this extends into the realm of relationships and sexuality. Vegansexuality is therefore a disposition (or inclination, or preference) towards those who practice a cruelty-free lifestyle. It is an embodied ethical form of sexuality”.
The connection between food and sex is not a new phenomenon. Dr Potts suggests a spectrum exists in relation to cruelty-free consumption and sexual relationships: “At one end of the spectrum, vegansexuality entails an increased likelihood of sexual attraction towards those who do not consume animals or animal products. At the other end, it manifests as a strong sexual aversion to the bodies of those who consume animals and animal products; for these people, avoidance of sexual intimacy with omnivorous bodies is manifesting at a much more visceral level.”
For more information on the findings of this study, contact Annie Potts.
Release of report on Ethical Consumption in NZ MAY 2007)
The NZCHAS is pleased to release a report on a nationwide survey on cruelty-free consumption. This study, conducted between August and December last year, was undertaken as part of a larger project on human-animal interactions in New Zealand, funded by a Royal Society of NZ Marsden grant. Volunteers completed 14-page surveys asking for their opinions on a range of topics including meat-eating, horse-racing, battery farming, hunting and fishing, and Wild Foods Festivals. Over 150 people participated from throughout New Zealand. The report provides detailed accounts of the experiences and perspectives of vegetarians, vegans and other ethical consumers living in New Zealand. (Word, 690KB) (PDF, 585KB)
For information, contact email@example.com
Publication of knowing Animals (March 2007)
The launch of NZCHAS also coincides with the publication of a collection of essays in Human-Animal Studies called Knowing Animals edited by NZCHAS Co-Director, Philip Armstrong, and Laurence Simmons from the University of Auckland. The volume includes essays on animals in philosophy, literature, painting, environmental discourse, science, the circus, TV, cinema and popular culture. Contributors include Brian Boyd, Ian Wedde, Allan Smith, Helen Tiffin, Barbara Creed, Rick de Vos, Catharina Landstrom, Alphonso Lingis, as well as three NZCHAS members - Philip Armstrong, Annie Potts , and Tanja Schwalm
For information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org