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Proposed Panel Subject: Imagining Boundaries: Animals, Aesthetics, and the
Posthuman

Panel Organizer: Drew Ayers, Georgia State University

Summary:  The goal of this panel is to explore the various strategies of
imagining the Animal within cultural and scientific imagery.  The Animal has
been a source of interest for commentators throughout history, and ideas of
what constitutes the Animal have informed ideas of what constitutes the
Human.  That is, Humanity has been, in part, defined in opposition to
Animality.  Contemporary and 20th century philosophers such as Derrida,
Deleuze and Guattari, Agamben, Heidegger, Merleau-Ponty, and Haraway have
all contributed to the discussion of the Animal, and this panel aims to
understand these various conceptualizations of the Animal in relation to
contemporary visual culture.  In particular, this panel aims to interrogate
the aesthetics of visualizing animals and to understand more fully the ways
in which the relationship between the human and non-human animal is imagined
within cinema, TV, and other media.  Theoretical, philosophical, and/or
historical approaches of all types are welcome, and this panel is open to
analyses of any kind of contemporary media – film, TV, new media,
advertising, painting, plastic art.

Possible topics include, but are not limited to:

*The construction of cultural and scientific boundaries between the human
and non-human animal
*Becoming-animal
*Ecocriticism and media
*The phenomenology of human and non-human interaction
*The animal in posthumanism
*Socio-scientific approaches to the animal
*The ideology of biology’s attempts to separate the human and non-human
animal
*Imagining the animal thorough nature films and documentaries
*Histories of animal imagery
*Imagining the animal through animation
*Media technologies and animal imagery
*The media industry’s use/exploitation of animal actors

Please send abstracts or proposals (250-500 words), including a five-item
bibliography and brief biographical note, to Drew Ayers ([log in to unmask]) by
August 8, 2009.  Selected presenters for the panel will be notified by
August 15, 2009, and the panel will be submitted to SCMS by September 1,
2009.  Acceptance of your proposal does not guarantee that SCMS will accept
the panel as a whole.


-- 
Drew Ayers
1311 Walker Ave
East Point, GA 30344
(812) 202-0778
www.drewayers.net

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