Monday, November 14, 2011

Symposium on How to Make a Human

by J J Cohen

Lowell Duckert composed this for the GW MEMSI blog. I'm cross posting it here to invite anyone in or near DC to come, and to annoy those who cannot attend with what they will miss.
Please join us on Thursday December 1 and Friday December 2 for two events centered around critical animal studies.

On Thursday De
cember 1 we will hold a symposium on Karl Steel's important new book How to Make a Human: Animals and Violence in the Middle Ages (Ohio State University Press, 2011). The book is available for $40 in hardcover via Amazon, and $10 for an e-version on CD. If you plan to attend, please try to read the book ahead of time; but reading the book is NOT required to come. The symposium features Julian Yates, Peggy McCracken and Tobias Menely, as well as Karl Steel. The event will take place from 4-6 PM (note change of time) in GW's Academic Center, 801 22nd St NW, Rome Hall 771. The symposium is free and open to all who wish to attend. It will be followed by an informal vegetarian dinner. The cost is $15 exclusive of beverages. If you would like to join us for dinner, you must register by Tuesday November 29.

Friday December 2 at noon is the date of our last seminar of the year, on Critical Animal Theory, with all the guests from the previous night's sy
mposium speaking about the field. You do not need to attend the Thursday symposium to participate in the Friday seminar. Some short readings will be distributed ahead of time. Lunch will be served. If you would like to attend, you must reserve a spot and secure the readings by emailing Lowell Duckert ( no later than Tuesday November 29. If you RSVP please come: we pay for every lunch reserved, and it is a shame when people hold a spot but do not attend the seminar.
Meet our presenters:
Karl Steel is Assistant Professor at Brooklyn College, City University of New York, where he specializes in medieval literature, intellectual history and social practice, and critical animal theory. How to Make a Human joins his impressive list of publications on animals, including an article written for the new collection Shakesqueer (2011) and a thematic issue of the journal postmedieval (co-edited with Peggy McCracken) called "The Animal Turn" (2011).

Peggy McCracken is Professor of French and Women's Studies at the University of Michigan. Her areas of expertise include medieval French and Occitan literature, gender and sexuality, and women's studies. Her most recent book is The Curse of Eve, the Wound of the Hero: Blood, Gender, and Medieval Literature (2003). She is currently writing two books: one on Marie de France and the other on animality and embodiment.

Tobias Menely is Assistant Professor of English at
Miami University, focusing on such diverse topics as eighteenth-century and Romantic literature, animal studies, climate and weather, time, and ethics and community. He recently published an article for the Journal for Eighteenth-Century Studies: "Sovereign Violence and the Figure of the Animal, from Leviathan to Windsor-Forest" (2010). Right now he is finishing his book, The Community of Creatures: Sensibility and the Voice of the Animal.
Julian Yates is Associate Professor of English at the University of Delaware. His areas of expertise are medieval and Renaissance British literature, literary theory, material culture studies, and ecocriticism. His latest book is Error, Misuse, Failure: Object Lessons from the English Renaissance (2003), and he has published extensively on all things post/human: for instance, "Counting Sheep: Dolly does Utopia (again) (2004) and "It's (for) you; or, the tele-t/r/opical post-human" (2010).

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