Nature is not natural and can never be naturalized — Graham Harman

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

CFP: Animals in Irish Literature and Culture

Call for Papers: Representing Animals in Irish Literature and Culture
From the shape-shifters of the sagas and the simian Paddies of the nineteenth century to the Celtic Tiger of recent years, non-human animals have figured powerfully in portrayals of Irishness. These portrayals tell us a great deal about the ways discourses of animality construct the human, and often, the sub-human. Indeed, Maureen O’Connor has argued that the constructed proximity of the Irish to animals justified the colonial use of force to subdue and contain them. Conversely, making the ideological connections between the oppression of women, the Irish, and animals, prominent nineteenth-century animal advocates from Ireland like Richard Martin of Galway, worked for both human and animal liberatory practices. However, despite the rich history of animals figured in Irish literature and culture, an animal studies focus has yet to emerge in Irish studies.

Thus, as editors of this volume, we invite essays working at the intersections of Irish studies and Critical Animal Studies, including any topic that engages with the relationship between humans and animals within Irish writing and cultural production. Possible topics include:

• Portrayals of nationality, transnationality, or migration and non-human animals
• Historical representations of animals
• Animals in Irish material culture
• Animals as religious and spiritual symbols
• Animal rights and its cultural implications
• Mythical animals
• Urban animals
• Representations of animals in Irish films
• Animals in Irish popular culture
• Gender and/or sexuality and animals
• Animals in Irish art
• Animals and/as property
• Representations of hierarchies of value among non-human animal species
• Deconstructing the human/animal binary
• Domesticated and wild animals
• Colonial/Post-colonial Ireland and animals

Send a 300-500 wd. proposal to Borbala Farago ( and Kathryn Kirkpatrick ( by May 15, 2012.

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