(Un)Common Worlds

Marianna Szczygielska and Erica von Essen will give papers at the “(Un)Common Worlds” Human-Animal Studies Conference — 7–9 August 2018 Turku, Finland. The program looks fascinating indeed!


Chair: Erica Von Essen
Karin Dirke: Language of the Hunt; The Negotiation of Ethics and Technology in the Journal Jägaren
Marianna Szczygielska: Wildlife Revenge: Human-Animal Drama in Spoor
Erica von Essen: The Changing Wildlife Tableau – the Evolution of Hunting Magazine Covers and Trophy Shots

One common world setting that physically and symbolically unites humans and non-human animals is hunting. Hunting has evolved to acquire functions of e.g. status-signaling, nature reconciliation, sport, leisure and socialization in late modernity. Changing human-animal relations in society both inform and reflect this evolution, as wildlife is positioned within hunting in unique ways: as artifacts and trophies, as reluctant ‘game-players’ and interactions with them as vehicles for self-actualization. In this panel, we use geographically and historically diverse case studies to discuss the changing ethical, affective, appreciative, and affiliative contexts in which non-human animals are entangled in hunting. Some questions raised are: to what end and with what manifestations is wildlife commodified, objectified, romanticized or socially represented to meet new functions in the world contemporary hunting? And to what extent may hunting be said to represent, on the one hand, a timeless primal human-animal world onto itself and, on the other hand, a sub-world of society that evolves in a dialectic with outside forces? Within this, we invite abstracts that engage in either conceptual discussions on the phenomenon changing human-wildlife relations in hunting, and/or that examine specific junctures at which these become especially visible, problematic or complex. Our panel will contribute a crossdisciplinary discussion with anthropological, sociological, geographical and historical perspectives.