Call for Papers (open)

 

Frame 31.1 – Animal Studies

Recent decades have seen the emergence of animal studies in a wide variety of disciplines that cut across the natural sciences, the social sciences, and the humanities. In accordance with Donna Haraway’s assertion that it “matters which worlds world worlds and which stories tell stories” (Cosmopolitan Animals, vii), scholars working in the field have taken trans-disciplinary and relational approaches to do justice to the complex network of affiliations between human and non-human lifeworlds. On a theoretical level, Haraway’s ‘naturecultures’, Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari’s elaboration of ‘rhizomes’, and Jacques Derrida’s concept of the ‘animot’ have helped set the agenda in literary animal studies.

Coming to more literary concerns—and returning to Haraway’s aforementioned dictum—Derrida’s animot provides a timely reminder of the ‘epistemic violence’ inherent in the category ‘animal’, suggesting that (political) representation of animals is not ‘a matter of “giving speech back” to animals’ (The Animal That Therefore I Am, 48). Rather, being properly responsive to the multiplicity of ‘situated knowledges’ and co-constitutive relationality of human-animal interactions demands a rethinking of our ethical, legal-political, aesthetic, rhetorical and socio-historical categories, to name a few. In other words, it demands a trans-species reconfiguration of the cosmopolitical in the fullest sense of the term.

In this issue, we invite you to consider the implications that putting human-animal relationships at the centre of enquiry might have for fields such as literary studies, cultural studies, philosophy, and aesthetics. In what ways could a focus on animal life in literature shed light on our shared vulnerability? How do literary genres shape our understanding of human-animal relationships, and how might these relationships be reimagined? What new light might the inclusion of ‘species’ shed on literary texts read through the lens of biopolitical power or postcolonial theory?

Naturally, the questions raised above represent only some of the issues that could be tackled in our upcoming issue; we welcome any interesting research topic—provided that it fits within the main theme. If you are interested in writing for Frame, please submit a brief proposal of 250 words at maximum before 1 December 2017. The deadline for the final version of your article is set on 16 February 2018. An article for Frame consists of a maximum of 5400 words, including bibliography and footnotes. For our Masterclass section students and PhD candidates are invited to write up to a maximum of 3500 words. Articles should be accompanied by a summary in English of approximately 100 words and a short biography. Please feel free to contact us at frame.gw@uu.nl, should you have any questions.