The Seminar for Human Animal Studies 2019: The Call for Papers

Call for Papers

Submit a proposal for a paper in the Finnish Seminar for Human Animal Studies!

The seminar is organized on 8.-9.4.2019 at the House of Science and Letters in Helsinki with the theme “Animals in the Everyday and the Celebration” We welcome paper proposals from all fields Human Animal Studies. You can also suggest paper outside of the theme.

The theme encourages you to examine animals as part of the everyday life as well as celebration. We share our lives with different animals in our homes and in the workplace. We host pets as well as microbes. Animals are part of our lives in various animal products and foods, as well as symbols and actors in religion, literature, or cat videos online. Similarly, working and living with us is a part of everyday life for many animals. Animals are also an important part of our celebrations. We feast on animal foods and turn to animals for our pleasure and entertainment. Although pet birthdays have become a business, we rarely celebrate animals. And how do animals themselves celebrate?

Please send your proposal (max 300 words) by 31.1.2019. You can address your paper to the two Finnish language panels and three English language panels mentioned below. If so, send your proposal to panel chairs. If you wish to present a paper on a topic not discussed in these panels, you can send your proposal to The organizing committee puts together new panels from the accepted individual papers.


PhD, Professor of European and World History (University of Turku) Taina Syrjämaa: “Lemmikit juhlissa. Monilajisen perheen historiaa” (in Finnish)

D.Sos.Sc, Adjunct professor and Senior lecturer in Gender Studies, (University of Helsinki) Kuura Irni: “Queer visions of families and close relations with nonhuman animals”

PhD, Senior Lecturer in Management (Keele Management School) Lindsay Hamilton: ”The Animal Effect: How and Why Animals Matter in Organizations and Society”

Participation fee:

The Finnish Seminar for Human Animal Studies is free of charge for the members of the Finnish Society for Human Animal Studies. For others, the two-day seminar costs 25 € (10 € for masters students).

Panels in English:

The challenge of critical animal studies

Panel Chairs:
Kadri Aavik, Gender Studies, University of Helsinki
Kuura Irni, Gender Studies, University of Helsinki

Non-human animals have for long been excluded from the spheres of social and cultural and they have frequently been overlooked in analysis of society. Consequently, the importance of other animals in the society – and their value as individuals – has often been underestimated or completely ignored. However, our rapidly growing understanding of the cognitive and social abilities of other animals forces us to re-evaluate our perception of animals and the status of animals. The field of social and cultural animal studies includes a rapidly growing field of critical animal studies (CAS), which critically examines the status and treatment of non-human animals and our perceptions of them, especially from the point of view of social power relations.

CAS scholars typically use posthumanist approaches that question the anthropocentric paradigm, challenge strict boundaries between humans and other animals, and aim to dismantle human superiority over other animals. CAS scholarship often takes an intersectional perspective and examines how various forms of social stratification, such as class, race, gender and species are interlinked. CAS scholars explore possibilities for deconstructing these power structures and the subjugated position classified as an animal, as well as promote interspecies solidarity and justice. CAS research has produced, for example, the concept of carnism and analysed veganism as a new way of constructing relationships between humans and other animals.

This panel welcomes presentations which examine relationships between humans and other animals, and the treatment and perceptions of non-human animals from perspectives of critical animal studies.

Animal Participation, Consent & Empowerment within Technology Systems

Panel chairs:
Ilyena Hirskyj-Douglas, Computer Science, Aalto University​
Heli Väätäjä, Pervasive Computing, Tampere University of Technology

We would like to hold a panel on animal participation, consent giving, and empowerment at the Finnish Seminar of Human-Animal studies. In this panel, we are interested in how these topics relates to everyday life of the species and individuals living with us and working for us. Whilst animals are a participant in these scenarios, it is not yet clear how they are a participant within technology systems, give consent for these systems or can be empowered by them.

Animal technology systems encapsulates a broad range of purposes where animals take on different roles in technology systems. These machineries span from non-domesticated captive animals kept in zoos and sanctuaries, to domesticated animals that are pets in our homes or on farms, to animals in the wild. However, what it means to refer to the animal(s) involved in the research as participants, and how much can an animal participate within the design of the technology especially in regards towards the concept of consent and empowerment is not yet explored. Whilst this understanding is possible to model in humans, what this means for animals is uncertain. As such, the role that an animal can participate is a subject of debate.

With the animal-technology industry growing, especially within Finland, this topic is not only topical but also relevant towards both industry and academia. The aim of this panel thus is twofold: firstly, to discuss what consent (and giving consent) looks like for animal(s); secondly, how can animal(s) be empowered through the concept of participation. This panel will provide a platform for both animal technology researchers and those involved in animal research.

Setting the agenda for human animal studies of work, business and organisation

Panel Chairs:
Linda Tallberg, Management and Organisation​, Hanken School of Economics, Finland
Lindsay Hamilton, Keele Management School, UK

This panel seeks to advance human-animals studies within management and organisational studies. Animals have traditionally been silenced in this field, yet they are very much a part of our daily organisational lives in different capacities across a range of industries and contexts. From the animals in slaughterhouses to the “bring your dog to work” contexts, animals are both powerless and powerful organisational actors in today’s work-landscapes.

The special edition of Organization (Labatut et al., 2016) was instrumental to introducing animals into management studies and recent studies have looked at the role of dogs in our organisations (Cunha et al., 2018) as well as taking an ethics of care perspective in creating an agenda for animals within the field (Connelly & Cullen, 2017). There have also been important contributions of discussing animal work across a variety of organisational contexts (Hamilton & Taylor, 2013) and situating animal work into labour studies (Coulter, 2016). But considering the power of management studies has on shaping our organisations, societies as well as individual values, the recognition of animals in this field is still very much in its infancy.

Therefore, this panel is open for all types of organisational inquiry dealing with furthering animal issues within the organisational context such as positioning the animal into leadership; business ethics; organisational culture; HRM; emotions and animals at work; and linking to critical management studies. Furthermore, this panel is open to discussions around methodological issues in researching animals in organisations and at work, including the potentials of alternative methods for multispecies research (Hamilton & Taylor, 2017; Tallberg et al., 2014) and issues related with animals within the organisational field, such as linguistics (Sayers, 2016), which challenge animal inclusion.

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