Tranimals supporters flock to panel at Zoontotechnics conference in Cardiff!

Over the last three days, I’ve been attending an amazing conference called Zoontotechnics at Cardiff University. My panel, co-organized with Katie King, Lynn Turner, and Eva Hayward, was, if I do say so myself, quite good! I base this evaluation on not only our papers but by the discussion afterward, which was not simply a Q&A, but a real conversation. Thanks to the conference organizers and panelists, and to my absent but beloved coauthor Eva.

Our panel abstract:

Panel proposal: “Somatic Sociality of Tranimals”

This panel emerges explores how the nascent field of Animal Studies encodes and decodes human/animal relationships with the prefix “trans-,” producing neologisms (trans-species, trans-genics, trans-biology, trans-humanism, and trans-marine) and transplanting existing terms into new contexts (transference). “Trans-” implies movement across, through, over, to or on the other side of, beyond, outside of, from one place, person, thing, or state to another.rans- disturbs purification practices; psychical and corporeal experiences and events are blended at multiple literal and figural levels, resulting in chimeric entities and liminal states of existence. Trans-animals, or “tranimals,” involve us in relationships that bind humans to their non-human companions, jellyfish to rabbits, virtuality to corporeality, and food to flesh. From companion species in virtual worlds to humans acting as, emulating and becoming with animals, to apparently human conceptions of the psyche being worked through by non-human companions, tranimals challenge and dislocate species boundaries and all our processes.

“Tranimals” show how animals—human and nonhuman—are constitutive of each other through the spaces and places we cohabit. This includes language, visual representations, bio- and zoosemiotics, and other meaning-making registers, as well as bodily contact zones, placing the emphasis on process rather than product. We explore the consequence of taking trans- tropes as the starting point of inquiry into questions of relationality. In an effort to articulate the significance of trans- in Animal Studies, we ask: How do we embody animals, and how do other animals embody us? How are carnal modes of incorporation, intimacy, and inhabitation kinds of encounters forged between “Tranimals”? How do “tranimals” figure in politico-economic stories, processes, and institutions? Trans-animality and “tranimals” locate appearing and disappearing boundaries between the human, the post-animal, the in-human, the animal, the re-animated, the living and the undead.

2 comments to Tranimals supporters flock to panel at Zoontotechnics conference in Cardiff!

  • Dear Lindsay, this panel looks amazing, I hope you know your transanimal inspiration has also extended into my most recent intervention art series, where Luk Kahlo, my companion species and I, run for “president”… (even though we’re both anarchists).

    Let me know when we can read these papers!
    Coco Rico

  • lk

    hey Coco! Sorry it took me so long to see your comment. Usually it’s just spam around here! I’m so sorry about Luk.

    One of our panelists has her paper online here: Eva & I are reworking ours for publication, and Lynn’s paper is coming up in Mosaic:

    ‘Animal Transference: a “mole-like progression” in C. J. Cherryh’ in Mosaic: a journal for the interdisciplinary study of literature, forthcoming, 2011.

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