11th SLSAeu Conference - European Society for Literature, Science and the Arts

On 20/21–24 June 2017, the annual conference of the SLSAeu will be held in Basel on the topic of “Empathies”. In this context, the workshop provides a forum to explore concepts of empathy with regard to animals and especially animals on film. Empathy is a key concept in contemporary studies focussing on animals. Humans and other animals engage with each other by means of empathy. The under-standing thereby ranges from a cognitive ability to put oneself into the shoes of the other to more basic forms of immediate affective resonance. In our workshop, we are particu-larly keen to discuss Lori Gruen’s idea of ‘Entangled Empathy’. The aim is to bring toge-ther the thinking about entangled empathy and cinematic images of animals. In which ways do films contribute to empathetic engagement, respectively might refuse to do so? In a critique of traditional ethic theory, Gruen emphasizes how important the idea of par-ticular animals, cases and contexts is for an alternative model of ethics. Accordingly, we would like to explore the transformative power of particular animals that become visible on film, as well as possible limits of the filmic medium.

PhD candidates and early postdocs from fields including, but not limited to, philosophy, anthropology, human-animal-studies, cultural studies, art history, film studies and media studies are encouraged to participate. To apply for participation, please submit both a short CV and a short letter of motivation. Participants who wish to discuss their own work are encouraged to submit a short abstract of their presentation (1 page). Be prepared to give a 15-min presentation. We invite submissions concerning the topic of animals in visual media, empathy in film and/or the works of Lori Gruen. The conference language is English. Please hand in all documents electronically to Friederike Zenker: The deadline for submissions is April 30, 2017. Notice of acceptance or rejection will be announced on May 12, 2017.

For questions or further information please contact Friederike Zenker, friederike.zenker at unibas.ch / University of Basel / eikones NFS Bildkritik / Rheinsprung 11 / CH - 4051 Basel