Witnessing and Worlding Beyond the Human: An Interdisciplinary and Interspecies Conversation

Friday, May 28th, 2021
2-day conference

Virtual presentation

Event Description

May 28-29, 2021

Join us in this series of 5-minute lightning talks organized around the concept of “witnessing” with and among the more-than-human. How do nonhumans communicate, perceive, and build worlds? What might it mean to invite nonhumans to be participants and partners in research, and what responsibilities does this entail? This event will engage these questions and more as we push against the boundaries of the human sensorium and anthropocentric forms of knowledge production. We will explore novel, dynamic, and unorthodox methods for relating to, connecting with, and narrating other and more-than-human worlds. We seek to generate a critical dialogue about other animals and the more-than-human that portrays with fidelity (however partial) their lives and experiences as individuals or material forces, not just as they are deployed as symbols, metaphors or cultural tropes.

The event format is designed to prioritize dialogue between panelists and the audience. We hope you’ll join us for this highly interdisciplinary and transnational conversation featuring scholars and researchers from over 30 universities across 8 countries, and representing more than 20 disciplinary backgrounds, spanning from Art and Urban Planning to Philosophy and Crop Sciences.

Organized by Jesann Gonzalez Cruz (NRES) and Austin Hoffman (Anthropology)

Sponsored by the Human-Animal Studies@Illinois Initiative, Professor Jane Desmond, Center for Advanced Study Resident Director and The Animal Turn Research Cluster, Humanities Research Institute, Professor Jamie Jones co-convener

Cosponsors: Department of Anthropology, Department of American Indian Studies, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, School of Art + Design, Humanities Research Institute, Department of History, College of Law Program in Law and Philosophy, Department of Classics, School of Music, Department of Spanish and Portuguese, and Department of Crop Sciences