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We are excited to announce the speakers for the upcoming 2019 ASI-UIUC Summer Institute cohosted by the Animals & Society Institute and the Center for Advanced Study at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign!

This interdisciplinary program, inaugurated in 2017, is focused on graduate students and those in the first few years post-Ph.D. or other terminal degrees like M.F.A., M.S.W., D.V.M., or J.D., and enables 20-30 participants to work on their dissertations or publications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign hosted by the Center for Advanced Study, for one intensive week. The 2019 Institute will take place from July 14-20, 2019, inclusive.

The Institute is designed to support participants’ individual research in Human-Animal Studies as well as to promote interdisciplinary exchange. The program will offer a shared space of critical inquiry that brings the participants’ work-in-progress to the attention of a network of influential HAS scholars, and provides the participants with the guidance and feedback to develop their work. At the heart of the program are daily morning seminars devoted to discussion of participants’ work, followed by afternoon plenary lectures by distinguished speakers.  These will be complemented by special workshops and field trips to on- and off-campus locations which highlight different aspects of the human-animal relationship. Participants should expect a stimulating intellectual environment reflecting a diversity of approaches, projects, disciplinary backgrounds, and ethical positions on animal issues. All fellows must be in continuous residence for the duration of the program.

This year’s speakers will be:

Saheed Aderinto, Associate Professor, History, Western Carolina University

Saheed Aderinto, Associate Professor of History at Western Carolina University, recently completed a full-length book manuscript titled, Modern Animals in Africa: The Human and Nonhuman Creatures of Colonial Nigeria. He is also the author of Guns and Society in Colonial Nigeria: Firearms, Culture, and Public Order (Indiana University Press, 2018) and When Sex Threatened the State: Illicit Sexuality, Nationalism, and Politics in Colonial Nigeria, 1900-1958 (University of Illinois Press, 2015)–Winner of the 2016 Nigerian Studies Association’s Book Award Prize for the “most important scholarly book on Nigeria published in English language.” Aderinto is the Founding President of the Lagos Studies Association.

May Berenbaum, Professor of Entomology, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign

May Berenbaum has been on the faculty of the Department of Entomology at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign since 1980, serving as head since 1992 and as Swanlund Chair of Entomology since 1996. She is known for elucidating chemical mechanisms underlying interactions between insects and their hostplants, including detoxification of natural and synthetic chemicals, and for applying ecological principles in developing sustainable management practices for natural and agricultural communities. Her research, supported primarily by NSF and USDA, has produced over 230 refereed scientific publications and 35 book chapters.  A member of the National Academy of Sciences, she has chaired two National Research Council committees, the Committee on the Future of Pesticides in U.S. Agriculture (2000) and the Committee on the Status of Pollinators in North America (2007). Devoted to teaching and fostering scientific literacy through formal and informal education, she has authored numerous magazine articles and six books about insects for the general public.  She graduated summa cum laude, with a B.S. degree and honors in biology, from Yale University in 1975 and received a Ph.D. in ecology and evolutionary biology from Cornell University in 1980.

Chris Green, Executive Director of the Animal Law & Policy Program, Harvard University

Chris Green is the Executive Director of Harvard Law School’s Animal Law & Policy Program. He is a graduate of Harvard Law School and the University of Illinois, where he created the school’s first Environmental Science degree. Chris is the former Chair of the American Bar Association’s Animal Law Committee, and previously was the Director of Legislative Affairs for the Animal Legal Defense Fund.  Chris’s own scholarship has focused on the societal and legal value of companion animals and has been published in the Animal Law Review.  He regularly testifies on animal protection legislation and currently is serving on a National Academies of Sciences committee assessing the Veterans Administration’s use of dogs in biomedical research.  Chris has consulted on animal legal issues for CNN, ABC News, CBS News, NBC News, NPR, Headline News, POLITICO, Vice News, The Atlantic, Bloomberg News, Fortune, Harper’s, Huffington Post, Medium, Science Magazine, Smart Money Magazine, The Chicago Tribune, New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Wall Street Journal, and Washington Post.  Chris also spent several decades working in the fine arts, film and music industries, and he currently manages an Illinois farm that has remained in his family for 181 consecutive years.

Maria Lux, Assistant Professor, Art, Whitman College

Maria Lux is a research-driven artist and assistant professor of art at Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington. Her installation-based works center on animals and their relationship to human knowledge, building projects around existing research and stories from fields such as evolutionary biology, medicine, agriculture, history, literature, film, and anthropology. Histories and philosophies of science, the optimism and fantasy that accompanies empirical study, animals at the borders of the human and the machine, technologies of domestication, and invasive species are recurring topics in her practice. Lux uses a variety of materials and processes to convey the stories behind her work, ranging from a large-scale carving of a giant pig and miniature dioramas, to a stop-motion animation and a colony of soft-sculpture prairie dogs. Her projects are sometimes accompanied by artist books that present some of the research connected to the work. As an artist engaged with conversations across many disciplines, Lux presents her work both in traditional art spaces across the United States, as well as at academic conferences. Her solo exhibitions include Upfor Gallery in Portland, Oregon; Visual Arts Exchange Cube Gallery in Raleigh, North Carolina; Nightingale Gallery at Eastern Oregon University, and VisArts in Rockville, Maryland, and she was included in the 2017 group exhibition and accompanying book The Sexual Politics of Meat at the Animal Museum in Los Angeles, California. She also serves as an associate editor for ASI’s Sloth: A Journal of Emerging Voices in Human-Animal Studies. Lux earned her BFA from Iowa State University in 2006 and her MFA from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2012. Lux attended the inaugural summer institute as a participant and returns this year as a presenter.

Bill Lynn, Research Scientist, Marsh Institute at Clark University, and Research Fellow, NewKnowledge

Bill Lynn is a research scientist in the George Perkins Marsh Institute at Clark University, and a research fellow at New Knowledge Organization Ltd. He edits the “Political Animals: Ethics, Policy and Practice” section of the journal Society and Animals, and serves as an ethics consultant and board member to non-profits helping civil society and governments make better policy decisions. Bill’s lifelong work has focused on the ethics and politics of sustainability with a special emphasis on wildlife, compassionate conservation and rewilding. Trained in ethics, geography and political theory, Bill draws out the ethical dimensions of sustainability with an eye to improving the well-being of people, animals, and nature. Some of the specific ethical issues he addresses include wolf recovery, outdoor cats and biodiversity, barred and northern spotted owls, urban wildlife management, the Canadian seal hunt, the role of ethics in sustainability science, intergenerational equity, the precautionary principle, and the Earth Charter. Prior to Clark he was a professor at Green Mountain College, Tufts University, and Williams College, where he taught courses in animal studies, environmental studies, ethics, human geography, qualitative research, and public policy.

Carrie Rohman, Associate Professor, English, Lafayette College

Carrie Rohman is Associate Professor of English at Lafayette College.  She has published widely in animal studies, modernism, posthumanism, and performance, in such journals as Deleuze Studies, Modernism/modernity, American Literature, Modern Fiction Studies, Hypatia, and a number of edited volumes.  She is the author of Stalking the Subject: Modernism and the Animal (Columbia 2009) and Choreographies of the Living: Bioaesthetics in Literature, Art, and Performance (Oxford 2018).  She has also worked as a modern dancer and choreographer, within and outside of the academy.

Juno Salazar-Parrenas, Assistant Professor, Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies, Ohio State University

Juno Salazar Parreñas’ ethnographic research speaks to feminist science studies, environmental humanities, critical development studies, and global political economy. Her book, Decolonizing Extinction: The Work of Care in Orangutan Rehabilitation, was published by Duke University Press in 2018 and examines the question of how are we to live and die in this current age of extinction when colonial legacies help determine who and what are in better positions to survive. She is the editor of Gender: Animals (Macmillan Interdisciplinary Handbooks)which was published in 2017. Her article, “Producing Affect: Transnational volunteerism in a Malaysian orangutan rehabilitation center,” received the 2013 General Anthropology Division’s Exemplary Cross-Field Scholarship Prize, which is one of the American Anthropological Association’s largest prizes for an article. She is also a featured columnist in the Los Angeles based monthly magazine The Lesbian News.

Deke Weaver, Associate Professor of Theater and New Media, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Deke Weaver is a writer-performer and media artist. His performances and videos have been presented throughout the U.S. and abroad in experimental theater, film/video, dance, solo performance, and broadcast venues such as PBS, Channel 4/U.K., the New York Video Festival at Lincoln Center, the Sundance Film Festival, the Chicago Humanities Festival, the Berlin Video Festival, the Museum of Contemporary Art/LA, the Moth, Yerba Buena Center for the Arts and many others including livestock pavilions, national parks, night clubs, backyard sheds and living rooms. Recent work on his life-long project, The Unreliable Bestiary – a performance for each letter of the alphabet, each letter represented by an endangered species – includes creating and touring a live-cinema solo version of the original sprawling site-specific WOLF performance, editing the multi-camera video documentaries for WOLF and ELEPHANT, designing the artist books for MONKEY and ELEPHANT, research for BEAR and TIGER, an early workshop for TIGER (part of Perform Midwest: Incubating Collaborative Research, a project funded by the Humanities Without Walls consortium), conference presentations, and the performance-lecture Choose Your Grizzly (MacDowell Downtown in Peterborough, NH, and Defibrillator Performance Art Gallery, Chicago). The texts for MONKEY and ELEPHANT are included in Animal Acts: Performing Species Today (edited by Holly Hughes and Una Chaudhuri, 2014, University of Michigan Press).   A Guggenheim Fellow and Creative Capital grantee, a resident artist at Yaddo, Isle Royale National Park, a three-time resident at Ucross, and a five-time fellow at the MacDowell Colony, he has been awarded commissions and grants from the city of San Francisco, the states of New York and Illinois, and other public and private foundations. He is currently an associate professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with appointments in the Department of Theater and the School of Art & Design’s New Media Program.

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