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Prof Thomas Laqueur Seminar 2: When Species Meet

When: Friday, May 27, 2022, 3:00 PM - 6:00 PM
Where: Arts Two, Room 3.20, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, London, E1 4N

The aim of the seminar is to think about why we care about animals in the contemporary world of the Anthropocene, the post human, and more specifically the world of Covid and why we cared about them in the past. In the first part I will give a broad historical, anthropological and theoretical overview of why we have cared about them so deeply over the past 50,000 years and why we continue to care for them. I will also speak about my own interests in the dog as well as other animals in the visual cultures of the past and present.

In the second part of the seminar I want to consider specific contemporary cases. I am asking seminar members to bring in relevant material: the remarkable growth of pet keeping during the pandemic and its decline more recently; the question of factory farming; robotic animals.

Please send web links to Tasha Pick [] who is organising the seminar.

Short optional readings will be available: John Berger's "Why Look at Animals;" excerpts from Keith Thomas Man and the Natural World; from Ulrich Raulff's Farewell to the Horse: A Cultural History; as well as my heavily illustrated book proposal for The Dog’s Gaze.

This month, Professor Thomas Laqueur is the IHSS Distinguished Visiting Fellow with the 'Pathologies of Solitude' project at Queen Mary, University of London.

About the speaker

Professor Thomas Laqueur, based at Berkeley, University of California, is the author of Making Sex: Body and Gender from the Greeks to Freud (1990), Solitary Sex: A Cultural History of Masturbation (2003), and The Work of the Dead: A Cultural History of Mortal Remains (2015), among many others.

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