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When Nov 27, 2015 - Nov 28, 2015
Where Macau
Submission Deadline Jun 30, 2015
Categories    philosophy

Call For Papers

November 27-28, 2015
University of Macau

Nandita Batra (Mayaguez)
Mario Wenning (Macau)
Contact Email:

Keynote Speaker:
Eduardo Mendieta (Stony Brook)

The boundary between humans and non-human animals has been an integral part of philosophical discourse since antiquity. Attempts to draw a boundary between human and nonhuman life has involved the literary imagination as well as philosophical reflection. Throughout the centuries philosophers and poets alike have defended an essential difference – rather than a porous transition – between what counts as human and what as animal. The attempts to assign essential properties to humans (e.g. a capacity for language use, reason and morality) often reflected ulterior aims to defend a privileged position for humans with regard to animals (which were, in turn, interpreted as speechless, irrational and amoral). While this form of humanism has come under attack through animal rights initiatives in recent decades, alternative ways of engaging the human-animal relationship from a philosophical and poetic perspective are rare. The conference thus aims to shift the traditional anthropocentric focus of philosophy and literature by combining the question "what is human?" with the question "what is animal?" to explore productive ways of thinking with and beyond the human-animal boundary.

We welcome papers from several disciplines, including philosophy, religion, and literature. This symposium is the second part of a symposium held at the University of Puerto Rico in Mayaguez in April 2015. Selected papers from both events will be considered for inclusion in a book project to be submitted to Lexington Books' Ecocritical Theory and Practice series.

Please send abstracts of 200-400 words for a 30-minute presentation to the organizing committee at by June 30th, 2015. The message should include the subject line "human-animal" as well as the name, institutional affiliation and contact information of the speaker.

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