Animals and Landscapes Symposium & Multispecies Storytelling Workshop

Animals and Landscapes Symposium & Multispecies Storytelling Workshop

17-18 November 2022 

Location: Liverpool, UK 

 Polar bears on melting ice caps have come to embody the impacts of climate change on the Arctic landscape; grazing cows are an established part of the iconography of supposedly-bucolic rural spaces; the wolf and wolf howl are culturally emblematic of wilderness. Animals also materially shape and remake landscapes through their individual and everyday species-specific practices, acknowledgement of which recognises their agency in the production of spaces. At the same time, the relationship between the symbolic and the material can reveal much about the colonisation of spaces, and the anthropocentric exploitation of landscapes and the animals who inhabit them. 

This event invites participants to consider the complex relationships between animals and landscapes, where ‘landscapes’ is understood in a broad, inclusive manner. It is particularly interested in exploring how animals shape landscapes in both material and symbolic senses, and how multispecies approaches can be used to critically reconsider landscape aesthetics, animal agency, and spaces of co-production. 

We welcome papers, poster presentations, and creative responses from scholars across arts, humanities and social science disciplines that address the broad theme of animal landscapes. 

Indicative topics include: 

  • Animal landscapes in art, media, film, radio, literature 
  • Presence and/or absence in extinction and/or climate change discourses and narratives 
  • Movement in, across and/or through landscape 
  • Animal agency and landscape use 
  • Farmed landscapes and/or the animal industrial complex 
  • Idealised landscapes 
  • Landscapes/soundscapes 

Deadline for submissions: 16 October 2022 

This event is funded by UKRI AHRC as part of the Multispecies Storytelling project and organised by members of the Centre for Human Animal Studies (CfHAS) at Edge Hill University. The project will cover travel and accommodation within the UK for participants.  

Email 250 word abstracts to: [email protected] 

Past Events

Call for Papers: Multispecies Heritage

26 and 27 November 2020

Multispecies approaches have recently developed as important interdisciplinary connections between the arts and humanities and the natural sciences. The term ‘multispecies’ is used to characterise a varied set of critical perspectives that are connected in their commitment to non-anthropocentric ways of thinking. Multispecies studies consider communities of living beings, their shared histories and interrelationships in ways that bring ‘diverse bodies of knowledge into conversation … pushing them in new directions’ (Van Dooren et al, 2016: 2).

One of the imperatives of multispecies approaches is to interrogate and challenge anthropocentric approaches and emphasise interrelationships with other forms of life. In multispecies research, participants extend the understanding of value to include the perspectives of the more-than-human world. As an important shift away from the traditions that normalise human-centred thinking about ‘nature’ and ‘the natural world’, multispecies approaches can help to identify alternative ways of responding to questions about place, interspecies ethics, and land use.

This conference, organised by the Multispecies Storytelling network, asks how multispecies approaches can be used to understand more-than-human heritage and explore the epistemological, methodological and policy implications of such thinking.

We invite proposals from various disciplines including media studies, communication studies, cultural studies, geography, history, philosophy, literature, sociology, art, and anthropology. As well as ‘traditional’ papers, we welcome creative works that engage with the conference themes.

15-minute papers are invited on topics including but not limited to:

  • Imagining multispecies heritage
  • Multispecies heritage and landscape
  • Multispecies heritage and place
  • Ethics and multispecies heritage
  • More-than-human landscapes
  • Land use and more-than-human perspectives
  • Multispecies methodologies and epistemologies

This event will take place online and will be free to attend. To be as inclusive as possible, the conference will take place across two days and the organisers intend to arrange presentations that take into account participants’ time zones.

Please submit abstracts of 250 words, a brief biographical note, institutional affiliation, and time zone by 23 September 2020 to:

[email protected] and [email protected]

Symposium: Who speaks on behalf of nature?

Date and time: Friday 17 January 2020, 9.30am – 4.30pm

Location: Edge Hill University, Creative Edge building, CE225

This symposium is the inaugural event of the UKRI AHRC funded network: ‘Multispecies storytelling: more than human narratives about landscape’. The event brings together a range of participants to consider who is enabled to speak on behalf of nature and which narratives are privileged or ignored as a consequence.

Invited speakers:

  • Professor Mara Miele (Cardiff University)
  • Dr Danielle Sands (Royal Holloway)
  • Dr Alex Lockwood (University of Sunderland)
  • Dr Robert McKay (University of Sheffield)
  • Dr Jos Smith (Nature Writing Archive, University of East Anglia)
  • Dr Alex Aisher (University of Sussex)