Speaker Information

Neel Ahuja is Assistant Professor of Postcolonial Studies in the Department of English and Comparative Literature at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. Neel’s research focuses on relationships between public culture, transnational formations of violence and security, and political controversies concerning species and environment. He has completed a book manuscript entitled Bioinsecurities: Disease Interventions, Empire, and the Government of Species and has begun work on a new project concerning climate change. Neel’s writings in animal studies appears in the journals PMLA, American Quarterly, Social Text, Tamkang Review, and in a number of edited collections.

Giovanni Aloi is a Lecturer in History of Art and Visual Cultures working for Queen Mary University of London, Sotheby’s Institute of Art, Christie’s Education and Tate Galleries. His interest in animals and nature in general dates back to an early age spent exploring the colourful and diverse flora and fauna of the south of Italy. Giovanni was born in Milan in 1976. In 1995, he obtained his first degree in Fine Art Theory and Practice and subsequently moved to London in order to further his education through a focus on international contemporary practice and Visual Cultures. He found fertile ground in the unconventional and radical approaches to art theory provided by Goldsmiths University and proceeded to gain a Post Graduate Diploma in History of Art, a Master in Visual Cultures and a PhD on the subject of Taxidermy in Contemporary Art (currently in its final stages). Whilst studying in London, Giovanni worked as a Gallery Manager and Education Officer at Whitechapel Art Gallery whilst curating film programs at Prince Charles Cinema. Besides working as a Lecturer, Giovanni Aloi has worked as a commercial and fine art photographer and freelance artist. He has an extensive publishing profile counting essays in English, French, Italian, Romanian and Polish whilst his first book, Art & Animals was published in 2011 by IB Tauris. Since 2006, he has been Editor in Chief of Antennae, the Journal of Nature in Visual Culture. Counting thousands of readers around the world, the Journal is today the international reference point for the debate on animals in the arts.

Monika Baár is currently Rosalind Franklin Fellow and Senior Lecturer in History at the University of Groningen (Netherlands). She completed her DPhil in Modern History at the University of Oxford in 2002. Her main research interests in her postdoctoral years lay in the history of historical writing and cultural history of ‘marginal nations’; the major publication arising from this research is the book Historians and Nationalism: East-Central Europe in the Nineteenth Century (Oxford University Press, 2010, paperback edition 2013). While maintaining her interest in the problem of marginality, in recent years she has developed new interests in animal studies and disability studies. She is currently undertaking research on the history of the guide dogs for the blind. This research also intersects with the history of vision, history of emotions, history of philanthropy and the history of robotics (and in particular the construction of guide dog robots). Her article ‘The Impact of the Great War on the Human-Animal Bond: Blind Veterans and their Guide Dogs in Interwar Germany’ is forthcoming in the special issue “Commemorating the Disabled Solider” of First World War Studies in 2014. Other recently completed articles include “Disability and Civil Courage under State Socialism: the Scandal around the Hungarian Guide Dog School” and “The Making of the German Police Dog.”

Jessica Carey is a critical animal studies theorist and an instructor in Cultural Studies and English at the University of British Columbia, Okanagan campus, in Kelowna, Canada. She is currently finishing revisions on her dissertation-based book on the cultural logic of the factory farm and its reverberations throughout popular food discourses. She is also presently at work on a co-authored book chapter (with Jodey Castricano) on the biopolitics of animal cloning and xenotransplantation, and has a book chapter forthcoming in Animal Subjects 2.0 on the prematurely “post”-factory farm discourse of the nose-to-tail food movement. As is evident in this paper, her ongoing and future research interests include further analysis of pro-meat discourses in popular culture, and the examination of the current and potential role of intersectionality in the field of critical animal studies.

Stephen F. Eisenman was born in New York City and educated at SUNY Albany, Williams College and Princeton University where he received his Ph.D. From 1984-1998 he taught at Occidental College in Los Angeles, and since then at Northwestern University in Evanston Illinois where he is Professor of Art History. He is the author of Gauguin’s Skirt (1997) and The Abu Ghraib Effect (2007), and is the principle author and editor of Nineteenth Century Art: A Critical History (fourth edition 2010). Eisenman has curated numerous exhibitions in the United States and Europe, including Paul Gauguin – Artist of Myth and Dream (2007), Design in the Age of Darwin (2008), and The Ecology of Impressionism (2010). He is also active in campus, community and state-wide politics. His articles and op-eds concerning torture and prison reform have appeared in Monthly Review and the Chicago Sun-Times.  His two most recent books The Cry of Nature – Art and the Making of Animal Rights (London: Reaktion Books) and The Ghosts of Our Meat – Sue Coe (New York: DAP) will be published in late 2013.

James Hevia‘s research has focused on empire and imperialism in eastern and central Asia. Primarily dealing with the British Empire in India and Southeast Asia and the Qing empire in China, the specific concerns have been with the causes and justifications for conflict; how empire in Asia became normalized within Europe through markets, exhibitions, and various forms of public media; and how the events of the nineteenth century are remembered in contemporary China.  These themes were taken up in two books, Cherishing Men From Afar: Qing Guest Ritual and the Macartney Embassy of 1793 (1995) and English Lessons: The Pedagogy of Imperialism in Nineteenth-Century China (2003). Subsequent research centered on how British empire in Asia developed and became dependent upon the production of useful knowledge about populations and geography to maintain itself. The result, The Imperial Security State: British Colonial Knowledge and Empire-Building in Asia, appeared in 2014. Recent research has worked within the same archives drawn on in the imperial security project to explore issues of animal labor, army transport, colonial warfare, and tropical veterinary medicine.

Karalyn Kendall-Morwick is an Assistant Professor of English at Washburn University. She holds an M.A. and Ph.D. in English from Indiana University, where she received the 2011 Ruth Neikamp-Cummings Dissertation Fellowship for her dissertation, “Mongrelized Subjects: Modernism and Human/Dog Coevolution.” Her research focuses on representations of animals and animality in 20th-century British and American literature. “Mongrelized Subjects,” which she is currently revising for book publication, examines the confounding figure of the dog in modernist literature, science, and philosophy, demonstrating that modernism positions the dog both as an instigator of the crisis of the modern subject and as a partner uniquely positioned to help the human and its cultural formations adapt to the dehumanizing conditions of modernization. She is a recipient of the 2013 Human-Animal Studies Fellowship, co-sponsored by the Animals and Society Institute (ASI) and Wesleyan Animal Studies. Beginning in 2014, she will serve as co-editor in chief of Sloth: A Journal of Emerging Voices in Human-Animal Studies, a new publication by ASI. Her published work includes articles in the Journal of Modern Literature and The Evolutionary Review and a chapter in the edited collection Queering the Non/Human (Ashgate, 2008).

Alex Link teaches English—primarily comics and contemporary literature—in the school of Critical and Creative Studies at the Alberta College of Art + Design, where he is also Faculty Association President. His research has appeared in such journals as Contemporary Literature, and The Journal of Popular Culture. Attendees of this conference might be particularly interested in his study of Steve Tomasula’s VAS, in The Electronic Book Review; and of Edgar Allan Poe’s “The Black Cat,” among other stories, in Emerson Studies Quarterly.  He is also the co-author of several comics.

Krista Maglen is an Assistant Professor in the History Department at Indiana University, Bloomington. She received her doctorate in the History of Medicine from Glasgow University and has since held postdoctoral and faculty appointments at Oxford University, New York University, and Santa Clara University in California. Her publications include The English System: Quarantine, Immigration, and the Making of a Port Sanitary Zone (Manchester University Press, 2014); “A World Apart: Geography, Australian Quarantine, and the Mother Country’” in the Journal of the History of Medicine and Allied Sciences (April, 2005); the co-edited volume Medicine, Law and Public Policy in Scotland 1850-1980: Essays Presented to Anne Crowther (Dundee University Press, 2011); as well as numerous other articles on histories of disease, quarantine, and immigration. Her new research interests expand upon the ideas about perceived and real dangers, and borders and category making that informed much of her earlier work. Focusing on the dangerous native animals of Australia, this work examines Europeans in the penal colonies, as well as later free settlements, within a landscape of creatures that helped to set the spatial boundaries of settlement, inform the creation of a new “Australian” identity, and which did not always conform to the conceptions of “civilization” that Europeans tried to establish through the clearing of land, planting of gardens, and building of homes.

Sean Meighoo is an Assistant Professor in the Graduate Institute of Liberal Arts at Emory University.  His current research and teaching interests include twentieth-century continental philosophy and literary theory, race and postcolonial studies, feminism and queer studies, posthumanism and animal studies.

Gary Steiner is John Howard Harris Professor of Philosophy at Bucknell University, where he has taught since 1987. He specializes in early modern philosophy, post-Kantian German thought, and the moral status of animals. He is the author of Descartes as a Moral Thinker: Christianity, Technology, Nihilism (2004), Anthropocentrism and Its Discontents: The Moral Status of Animals in the History of Western Philosophy (2005/2010), and Animals and the Moral Community: Mental Life, Moral Status, and Kinship (2008). His most recent book is Animals and the Limits of Postmodernism, published earlier this year by Columbia University Press. He is co-editor of Columbia University Press’s “Critical Perspectives on Animals” book series. In his current work he is exploring the relationship between reason and affect in the moral life, and he is completing a translation of Dominique Lestel’s Apologie du Carnivore.

Kari Weil is University Professor of Letters at Wesleyan University. She earned her Ph.D in Comparative Literature from Princeton University with specializations in Nineteenth and Twentieth Century France and Feminist Theory. She has published widely on literary representations of gender, feminist theory, and, more recently, on theories and representations of animal otherness. She recently co-edited a special issue of Hypatia entitled “Animal Others” (27.3, Summer 2012) and she is  the author of Thinking Animals: Why Animal Studies Now (Columbia UP, 2012) and Androgyny and the Denial of Difference (University Press of Virginia, 1992). Her current project is tentatively titled, “The Most Beautiful Conquest of Man” ?: Horses and Other Animal Pursuits in Nineteenth-Century France.

Nurfadzilah Yahaya currently holds the Mark Steinberg Weil Early Career Fellowship in Islamic Studies at Washington University in St. Louis. She graduated from Princeton University with a PhD in History in September 2012. Her current book project demonstrates how the lives of Arabs in Southeast Asia were drastically affected by Dutch and British colonial legal frameworks that transformed social family dynamic and economic arrangements.