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Introduction & Presentation The Animals’ Turn?

  • December 09, 2009
  • Harriet Ritvo

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Introduction by Andreas Mayer (MPIWG)
Presentation by Harriet Ritvo (History Faculty, MIT)

Abstract
Animal-related topics once occupied the fringes of research in the humanities and social sciences, but in recent decades they have become almost mainstream in many disciplines, enjoying the full panoply of academic institutionalization (journals, conferences, book series, etc.). As is often the case, however, success at one level has revealed a new set of issues. Some are organizational: for example, should “animal studies” attempt to establish itself as an independent discipline? Some are definitional: for example, how broadly should the category “animals” be understood? My talk will survey these changes and challenges, with special emphasis on history and the history of science.

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