Canterbury researchers lead the focus on Decolonizing Animals

28 June 2019

The first conference of the Australasian Animal Studies Association to be held in New Zealand takes place in Christchurch this week, following a successful bid from UC’s New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies (NZCHAS) and TourismNZ.

  • Kirsty Dunn

    Keynote speaker Kirsty Dunn will share her PhD research 'Into the Dark, We Are Moths’ – Representing and Reimagining Animals in Māori Writing in English at the Decolonizing Animals conference in Christchurch.

The first conference of the Australasian Animal Studies Association to be held in New Zealand takes place in Christchurch this week, following a successful bid from UC’s New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies (NZCHAS) and TourismNZ.

Located at The Piano from 1-4 July, Decolonizing Animals focuses on human-animal interactions and in particular, indigenous approaches to such relationships.

Some 150 national and international academics will be in attendance, including renowned scholars on topics such as decolonialism and the environment, veganism and sustainability, feral and introduced versus native species and the place of animals in literature, art and film. 

Director of NZCHAS, UC Professor Annie Potts, says she is thrilled to have Kirsty Dunn, Ngata Centenary Doctoral Scholar and postgraduate member of NZCHAS, as a keynote speaker at the event.

Ms Dunn will share her PhD research ’Into the Dark, We Are Moths’ – Representing and Reimagining Animals in Māori Writing in English, on the opening night of the conference, which will also feature a keynote address from acclaimed author Witi Ihimaera. 

She will also run a panel on Māori perspectives on plant-based food ethics.

Dunn was previously recognised by the Australasian Animal Studies Association for her research on Māori plant-based food ethics, receiving the award for best postgraduate paper at their 2017 conference in Adelaide.

NZCHAS brings together scholars whose research is concerned with the conceptual and material treatment of animals in culture, society and history. Professor Potts looks forward to showcasing UC’s unique NZCHAS teaching and research programme as well as the Centre’s new doctoral degree in Human-Animal Studies (HAS) at the conference. UC is the only university in the southern hemisphere offering a PhD in HAS.

The PhD programme, convened by UC Professor Philip Armstrong, is attracting high-calibre candidates from within New Zealand and around the world.

“We are over the moon at the enthusiasm of the postgraduate students coming through,” Professor Potts says.

Decolonizing Animals: Australasian Animals Studies Conference
1-4 July 2019
The Piano, 156 Armagh Street, Christchurch

The work of both Professor Annie Potts and Kirsty Dunn will be featured in the upcoming Research Report, which demonstrates the breadth of UC’s research into the future of food through food equity, food intelligence and food innovation, from across the extensive range of disciplines available at the University.

 

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