News and Events 2014

Visiting Fellow Will Kymlicka

Sydney Ideas event:
Animals and Social Justice

Professor Kymlicka will be presenting a Sydney Ideas event.

5 August 2014
6.00pm - 7.30pm

Law School Foyer
Level 2, Sydney Law School
Eastern Avenue
The University of Sydney

Zoopolis Reading Group

In preparation for Professor Will Kymlicka’s visit, HARN will be organising a Reading Group, a small group of up to 15 participants who will read and discuss Sue Donaldson and Will Kymlicka’s Zoopolis in 3 x 2 hour sessions. Lunch will be provided. A fourth and final meeting of the group will be held on Monday August 4th 12-2pm, where Will Kymlicka will be joining the group in discussion.

Dates and Times for Reading Group meetings:
Monday, 14 April 2014 from 12 noon to 2:00pm
Monday, 12 May 2014 from 12 noon to 2:00pm
Monday , 23 June 2014 from 12 noon to 2:00pm
Monday, 4 August 2014 from 12 noon to 2:00pm (with Will Kymlicka)

Registration is essential. If you wish to be part of the Zoopolis Reading Group please email by 7 April with your name and contact details and a statement about why you’d like to be a participant.

The group will be limited to 15 (with 5 in reserve in case of last minute withdrawals). Preference will be given to Postgrads and ECRs. Participants from Universities other than the University of Sydney are most welcome.

Will Kymlicka’s Visit is supported by the Sydney Environment Institute.


Visiting Fellow Sarah Whatmore

Badger

Sydney Ideas Public Lecture
6.30pm, 8 April 2014
Law Lecture Theatre 101
New Law Building F10,
University of Sydney

The badger (Meles meles) is one of the most iconic creatures in the English popular imaginary. In childhood, Mr Badger is introduced as the sage keeper of order in the wild woods in Kenneth Grahame’s familiar tale ‘The Wind in the Willows’ (1908). Yet, as nocturnal creatures whose complex social worlds are lived out for the most part in labyrinthine underground sets, few of the people they live amongst in this densely populated country are ever likely to encounter them first-hand. The history of their relations with people mixes savage persecution, as the subject of a once commonplace country ‘sport’ of baiting, and statutory protection as the subject of an act of parliament - the Protection of Badgers Act 1992.

Today, the badger is caught lethally in the political cross-fire between these contrapuntal energies as farmers and conservationists dispute its role in the transmission of bovine tuberculosis (Mycobacterium bovis), a disease that plagues the English dairy cattle industry. It is a dispute that ostensibly looks to science for the answers, culminating in the autumn of 2013 in a trial cull of badgers in two locations. In the process, however, it is badgers themselves that have been seen to expose the poverty of this formulation of the relationship between science and politics. In this paper I interrogate how it was that badgers came to ‘move the goalposts’ and with what consequences for better understanding the nature and dynamics of knowledge controversies.

See Sydney Ideas for more information

“More than Human” Seminar

2:30-4:30, 9 April 2014
Woolley Common Room,
John Woolley Building A22,
University of Sydney 2006

Professor Lesley Head
FAHA FASSA
Department of Geography and Sustainable Communities
Director, Australian Centre for Cultural Environmental Research (AUSCCER)
University of Wollongong
The distinctive capacities of plants, and implications for animal studies
Although the agency of plants is increasingly demonstrated, scholars have yet to fully respond, for plants, to Lulka’s (2009) call to attend more carefully to the details of nonhuman difference. This presentation draws on collaborative work with Jennifer Atchison and Catherine Phillips. We provide a systematic and provisional overview of the shared capacities of plants, in order to take them seriously in their own terms, and to consider what that means for human-plant relations more generally. We begin by identifying and discussing materialities and capacities that scientists consider plants to share, plus three additional capacities fundamental to plant living – moving independent of humans, sensing and communicating, and taking shape as flexible bodies. Together these contribute to a sense of plant worlds in which distinctive but highly variable plant forms have their own lives and also interact with humans and others in contingent ways. As empirical illustration we explore the adversarial relationship between rubber vine (Cryptostegia grandiflora) and invasive plant managers in northern Australia. We conclude by considering some comparative implications for animal studies.

Associate Professor Kane Race
Department of Gender and Cultural Studies
University of Sydney
Dog of a legal clause: the instrumentalization of animals in police powers (drug detection laws)
The policing of the Sydney Gay and Lesbian Mardi Gras has been subject to controversy over the last decade. Police use of sniffer dogs to furnish the “reasonable suspicion” that is required to authorize “stop and search” procedures in relation to drug possession has been a key part of this controversy. While police substantiate this practice in terms of its universal applicability, high visibility and purported deterrent effect, it nevertheless forms part of the complex and evolving environment in which new and arguably more dangerous forms of sex-related drug consumption have emerged. This paper works with William Connolly’s (2004) concept of “emergent causality” to counter the insistence on linear expressions of cause and effect that characterise dominant strands of governmental practice. After tracing how space is conceived in dominant strands of policing practice, I argue for the need to engage with more complex processes of eventuation. Emergent causality allows us to track the materialization of drug problems by directing attention towards the concrete but always contingent ways in which a variety of elements interact so as to effect material changes in the shape of drug experience. I argue that grasping these developments as events, or processes of eventuation, sets out an active, engaged and agonistic role for research practice.

Assoc Professor Dale Dominey-Howes
School of Geosciences,
University of Sydney
‘Not without Patsy’: animal – human relationships in natural disaster contexts
Australia is a place regularly affected by natural disasters; they take lives, cause devastation, impact individuals, families, communities and disrupt our socio-economic systems. Emergency managers and governments puzzle over the decisions made by members of the community about whether to evacuate or not when warnings are issued. Concern about the welfare of companion animals and livestock animals is a commonly recurring theme in interviews with post-disaster survivors. Many report that if they are unable to evacuate their companion animals to safe evacuation shelters, then they themselves will stay at home. Using examples from Australian and international disasters, Dale will explore the meaning and significance of the ‘more than human’ face of resilience and vulnerability in the context of natural disasters.

Respondent:
Professor Sarah Whatmore
Chair:
Professor Mike Michael


Whatmore Reading Group
In preparation for Sarah Whatmore’s visit, HARN will be organising a Whatmore Reading Group, a small group of up to 15 participants who will read and discuss Professor Whatmore’s work in 3 x 2 hour sessions. Readings will be provided. Lunch will be provided. A fourth and final meeting of the group will be held on Monday April 7th 1.30-2.30pm, where Sarah will be joining the group in discussion.

Dates and Times for Reading Group meetings:
Friday, 21 March 2014 from 12 noon to 2:00pm
Friday, 28 March 2014 from 12 noon to 2:00pm
Friday, 1 April 2014 from 12 noon to 2:00pm
Monday, 7 April 2014 from 1:30pm noon to 3:00pm (with Sarah)

Registration is essential. If you wish to be part of the Whatmore Reading Group please email by March 3rd with your name and contact details and a statement about why you’d like to be a participant.


The group will be limited to 15 (with 5 in reserve in case of last minute withdrawals). Preference will be given to Postgrads and ECRs. Participants from Universities other than the University of Sydney are most welcome.