[csaa-forum] Symposium Invitation: What is Philosophical Ethology?

Matthew Chrulew mchrulew at gmail.com
Wed Jul 1 13:31:11 ACST 2015

Hi all,

Please see below for an invitation to an event at Curtin on July 22nd,
12:30-5:00pm - "What is Philosophical Ethology?" I've included some further
bio details about the other speakers. Please get in touch if you have any


[image: Curtin University] <http://www.curtin.edu.au/>

[image: Curtin University Bentley campus]

  *A CCAT EVENT:**What is Philosophical Ethology? An afternoon symposium.*

*Guest Presenters:* Prof. Roberto Marchesini (Director, School of
Human-Animal Interaction, Bologna, Italy), A/Prof. Brett Buchanan
(Laurentian University, Canada), A/Prof. Jeffrey Bussolini (City University
of New York, NY), and Dr. Matthew Chrulew (Curtin).

Dear colleagues,

*The Centre for Culture and Technology (CCAT), the Reading Culture,
Animality and Technology Discussion Group (RCAT), and the Curtin
Posthumanism and Technology Research Program* would like to invite you to
attend an afternoon symposium and roundtable discussion with leading
international scholars from the fields of posthumanism, animal studies and
critical theory.


Ethological research of the last few decades has taught us that “culture”
and “technology” are not the unique possessions of humankind. Long-term
observational studies of animals from chimpanzees to Arabian babblers have
revealed among nonhuman societies a great variety of behaviours and
mediations irreducible to genetic or environmental determination. These
empirical findings challenge many long-held assumptions regarding the
mechanicity of animal life and the exceptionality of human worlds. Yet
their consequences have rarely been accounted for, let alone rigorously
drawn out, among the humanities and social sciences. This half-day
symposium will take a step in this direction by asking: what is
philosophical ethology? Three special issues of *Angelaki: Journal of the
Theoretical Humanities *have been devoted to introducing this field,
presenting the work of important thinkers: Dominique Lestel
<http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/cang20/19/3>, Vinciane Despret
<http://www.tandfonline.com/toc/cang20/20/2> and Roberto Marchesini
(forthcoming). In this symposium, speakers working at the intersection of
philosophy, anthropology, cultural theory, environmental humanities and
animal studies will explore the reconfiguration of concepts of humanity and
animality that follows from the ethological revolution.


*Roberto Marchesini* (Director, Scuola Interazione Uomo Animale and Centro
Studi Filosofia Postumanista, Bologna, Italy)

*Brett Buchanan* (Director, School of the Environment and Chair, Department
of Philosophy, Laurentian University, Canada)

*Jeffrey Bussolini* (Associate Professor, Department of Sociology,
Anthropology, and Social Work, City University of New York, USA)

 *Matthew Chrulew* (Research Fellow, Centre for Culture and Technology,
Curtin University, Australia).

*                                                                   Event

*Event: *

*CCAT Symposium: What is Philosophical Ethology?*

*Date: *

*Wednesday 22nd July*

*Time: *

12:30–5:00pm. Afternoon tea will be provided

*Location: *

Curtin University

Kent Street, Bentley (Room TBC)


Please RSVP your attendance by 15th July to
matthew.chrulew at curtin.edu.au. Early
responses are encouraged and appreciated as attendance is limited.

*Further information*

If you have any special requirements to enable you to participate at this
event please advise when you RSVP. We will contact you to provide

For information about disability services at Curtin, please visit

Make tomorrow better.

   Curtin University is a trademark of Curtin University of Technology
CRICOS Provider Code 00301J (WA), 02637B (NSW)

*Roberto Marchesini* is a veterinary doctor, ethologist, and philosopher
who has been involved in the study of animals since the 1980s. He combines
scientific and philosophical perspectives to address a range of questions
about evolution, behaviour, mind, subjectivity, culture, and ethics. With
colleagues he developed a school of animal interaction and training that is
based on treating animals (dogs, horses, cats, others) as minded
interlocutors in a social interaction, rather than the using negative
reinforcement and simple conditioning. He is the best known exponent of
zooanthropology and post humanism in Italy, and he has developed unique
versions of both that can contribute to the anglophone literature on them.
His zooanthropology holds that culture is present among nonhuman animals
and that human culture and identity are built upon animal references and
interactions at every level. His account of posthumanism focusses on ending
the centuries-long delusion by which humans convinced themselves that they
were distinct from the animal realm in paying heed to our animality and our
deep constitutive ties to other animals. His writings span the gamut from
lyric poetry (*The God Pan* 1988) to cognitive science (*Multiple
Intelligences* 2008), zooanthropology (*Zooanthropology* 2005, 2007, 2014),
posthumanism (*Posthuman* 2002, *The Twilight of the Human* 2009), and
bioethics (*The Chimera Factory* 1999, *Against Animal Rights?* 2014). He
was a student of the Italian entomologist and ethologist Giorgio Celli and
had a long collaboration with the astrophysicist Margherita Hack.

*Brett Buchanan* is Director of the School of the Environment and Associate
Professor and Chair of the Department of Philosophy at Laurentian
University (Canada). His work is situated at the intersections of
contemporary Continental philosophy, environmental thought, and animal
studies, and in addition to a number of articles and book chapters he is
the author of *Onto-Ethologies: The Animal Environments of Uexküll,
Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and Deleuze* (State U of New York P, 2008). He
sits on a number of scholarly boards and committees, including Wilfrid
Laurier University Press’s “Environmental Humanities” book series,
Humanities* journal, and is currently translating Vinciane Despret’s book *Que
diraient les animaux, si…on leur posait les bonnes questions?* for the
University of Minnesota Press’s “Posthumanities” series. Together with
Matthew Chrulew and Jeffrey Bussolini, he edited issues 19.3 and 20.2 of
*Angelaki* on the philosophical ethology of Dominique Lestel and Vinciane

*Jeffrey Bussolini* is Associate Professor of Sociology-Anthropology at
City University of New York; and Co-Director, with Ananya Mukherjea, of the
Center for Feline Studies, which has conducted etho-ethnographic study of
feline–human interactions since 1995. He is affiliated with the Scuola di
Interazione Uomo–Animale (School of Human–Animal Interactions) in Bologna,
Italy. He translated Dominique Lestel’s book on animal friendship, *The
Friends of My Friends*, forthcoming from Columbia University Press. Jeffrey
wrote the articles “Toward Cat Phenomenology” in *Found Object* 8 (Spring
2000) and “Recent French, Belgian, and Italian Approaches to the Cognitive
Science of Animals: Dominique Lestel, Vinciane Despret, Roberto Marchesini,
and Giorgio Celli” in *Social Science Information* 52.2 (2013), and
appeared as “Feline Sociologist” in the VICE Media film Lil Bub and Friendz
(2013). He has been Visiting Scholar at Macquarie University (CRSI), UNSW
(Environmental Humanities), and the University of Copenhagen (CMSTS).

Dr Matthew Chrulew
Research Fellow, Centre for Culture and Technology, Curtin University
Associate Editor, *Environmental Humanities*

*SubStance* 43:2, "Fabled Thought: On Jacques Derrida's *The Beast & the
Sovereign*" <http://sub.uwpress.org/content/43/2.toc>
*Angelaki* 19:3, "Philosophical Ethology I: Dominique Lestel"
*Angelaki *20:2, "Philosophical Ethology II: Vinciane Despret"
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