Critical Animal Studies: A Masterclass

6th September, 9am-3pm

Deakin Burwood Corporate Centre

Register here for this free event:


Why Study (other) animals?

Have you thought about the different ways in which (other) animals are present – in a myriad of visible and invisible ways – in everyday human life? Do you live with a companion animal? What is the difference between a dog or a cat, and a cow or a goat, or indeed, a pig and a human? Is there an inherent difference in their sentience?

Can difference between species be cultural, political – and humanist? Why are dogs loved in some societies and eaten in others? Why are cows worshipped in some societies and eaten in others? How are animals used in human society – in farms and slaughterhouses, laboratories and as entertainment? What do these different ways of human perception of animals, mean for the animals?

What do we understand by speciesism? Should we include (other) animals in our political/public life?

What does it mean to be a vegan? Are animal activists un-Australian?

What does it mean to think of humans as also animals?

There is now an “animal turn” in academia as we become aware of animal sentience, and emotions, and the critical, exciting and challenging questions that this provokes about how humans perceive and use animals.  As we witness the sixth mass extinction; climate change; urbanization and industrialization; and the growing animal advocacy movement, we are interested in unearthing the visible and more ‘invisible’ ways in which other animals are intricately enmeshed, enforced and otherwise, in our politics and societies, our religions, and our economies. And the ways in turn, in which humans are involved, often problematicaly, in the families, societies, environment and habitats, and lifeworlds of other animals.

As also animals and very political animals with ideas about equality, justice and compassion for our species, what is our obligation to animals of other species? Can we envisage a collective multispecies peace and coexistence?

We are pleased to present a rare opportunity to come and do a Masterclass on Animals, focussed in a range of disciplines, with different Deakin academics!

Attendance is first come, first serve, so please register soon! Lunch, morning and afternoon teas will be served.

Register at: Eventbrite:

Roland Kapferer: The Animal-Machine Interface: Animals and Machine Learning [Anthropology]

Steve Cooke: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find them: Historical Animal Geographies [Geography]

Vince Marotta: The Intersubjective world of Non-human Animals and Humans [Sociology]

Anna Halafoff: Religion and Animal Rights: Contemporary Clashes and Interconnections [Religion and Society]

Yamini Narayanan: Can (Other) Animals be Political? [Political Science]