CFA: Between Apes and Angels: Human and Animal in the Early Modern World Conference

December 4-5, 2014, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, UNITED KINGDOM

The interdisciplinary conference will examine the theme of human-animal relations and related topics, such as race, sexuality, zoology, natural history, theological and philosophical perspectives (to name but a few), between c.1500 and the publication of Darwin’s Origin of Species (1859). Early-career scholars are particularly encouraged to submit proposals for papers. It is intended that an edited collection of selected papers will be prepared for publication.

Anticipated themes of the conference may include:

– Human-animal relations of all kinds
– Philosophy, religion, and intellectual history
– Consciousness, sentience, language, and the soul
– Bodies, human and animal
– Animals and people of the New and Old Worlds
– Classification
– Breeding and nationhood
– Race
– Exotica and exploration
– Collecting and exhibiting
– Curatorship
– Fairs, freakshows and buffoons

Call for papers

We are also particularly interested in papers discussing how we attempt to do the history of human-animal relations today.

– What is the state of the field?
– What are our methodologies?
– What problems do we encounter? How can/do we overcome them?
– Why study human-animal relations? What specific social/cultural/political/intellectual (etc) consequences are there to this branch of intellectual inquiry?
– What can we learn from other disciplines in the humanities and social sciences?
– How can we work with the natural sciences?
– How do we teach this history?
– How do we communicate or show this history beyond the classroom, for instance through public events, broadcast media, the arts, or exhibitions?

Please submit a 250-word abstract and a brief biographical note or one-page CV to the organisers: Andrew Wells ( and Sarah Cockram ( by 31 October 2013.

Deadline: October 31, 2013

Posted: September 17, 2013