December 10, 2020

Podcast The Animal Turn

Animals are increasingly at the forefront of research questions – not as shadows to human stories, or as beings we want to understand biologically, or for purely our benefit – but as beings who have histories, stories, and geographies of their own. Join Dr. Claudia Hirtenfelder as she delves into some of the most important ideas emerging out of this recent turn in scholarship, thinking, and being.

Each season of The Animal Turn is set around themes with each episode unpacking a particular concept and its significance therein:

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Sponsored by Animals in Philosophy, Politics, Law and Ethics – A.P.P.L.E
Member of iROAR an Animals Podcasting Network
Bed Music created by Gordon Clarke (Instagram: @_con_sol_ )
Podcast Logo created by Jeremy John (Website)

Season 1 Poster The Animal Turn

In Season 1, Claudia speaks to scholars about the most important concepts for understanding the relationship between animals and the law. Key themes to emerge from the discussions are how the property status of animals diminishes the potential for them to be considered legal subjects, autonomy or liberty; that laws and the legal control of animals operates at a variety of scales (farms, nations, internationally), and that there is also potential for the law to change what are currently often abusive relations but that this will require dramatic conceptual and institutional shifts.

Season 2 The Animal Turn

In Season 2 Claudia speaks to scholars about useful concepts for understanding animals and their experiences. Key themes to emerge from the discussions are  the tensions between individuals and groups, how experience can be used to understand social relations and animal culture, as well as the usefulness and challenges of thinking with animals’ sensory experiences. This season is theoretically dense and provides a useful baseline for contemplating, thoughtfully, about the ways in which animals experience the world and what the implications are of that. 

In Season 3 Claudia speaks to scholars about concepts pertaining to ‘The Urban.’ Claudia unravels how ‘the urban’ is thought of as a space and some of the work that is being done to challenge its conception as an only (or primarily) human space. Concepts will help listeners to think about the city in a new way and possibly point to the ways in which different animals are positioned in relation to the city. Considering that the world is increasingly urbanized and that this is where most human consumption takes place this is a critical area of focus for animal studies scholars.

In Season 4, Claudia hopes understand how animals and sound are related as well as the ways in which thinking about sound (and sound related concepts) might help with understanding animals and their lives. Claudia talks to geographers, bio-acousticians, archivists, musicians, and critical animal studies scholars about a diverse range of concepts including soundscapes, sonic methods, bioacoustics, sound archives, voice, and republic of noise. 

Season 5 of The Animal Turn is focused on Animals and Biosecurity. Claudia talks to experts on health, disease and security in disciplines from epidemiology to geography, law and history.  This season unpacks some of the interconnections of “keeping life safe” and what this means for animals. The concepts discussed are important for thinking about how animals and biosecurity shape one another they delve into questions of health, politics, and ethics.

Season 6 of The Animal Turn is focused on “Animals and Politics.” Claudia talks to political philosophers, activists, and social scientists about the relationship between animals and politics. They discuss what politics is and what possible political futures might include animals. This includes talking about subjects such as governance, legitimate authority, and property. Concepts in focus include everything from politics, to habitat rights, animal photo journalism, and international relations.

Sometimes opportunities present themselves to do something a little divergent from the seasons. Bonus episodes present an opportunity to put something else in focus, these include book reviews, podcast reviews, conference highlights, as well as announcements and stories. It’s a nice mix of content and provides a breather between seasons.

Follow The Animal Turn on Twitter (@TheAnimalTurn) and Instagram

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