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Thursday, 23 December 2010

Minding animals: Pre-Lecture Events news

I have just received the second Minding Animals pre-conference events bulletin.

The first two events have now taken place - in Utrecht, the Netherlands, and in Sydney, Australia. More info at the Pre-conference events page of MAI. No less than 30 cities are mentioned in the second bulletin as potential event locations.
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The Oslo event (now scheduled for October 14-15, 2011 and enveloping one and a half day of program) is mentioned in the following fashion:
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Oslo, Norway, 14 October, 2011
A one day conference examining human relationships with equines and canines:
Shared Worlds
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I am further involved in what is now presented as the Fifth Event:
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Fifth Event: Workshop, Sydney, Australia, 19 to 21 February, 2011
The History, Philosophy and Future of Ethology
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The fifth event is an ISL-HCA funded International Collaborative Workshop with international speakers including:
Dominique Lestel (ENS, France)
· Brett Buchanan
(Laurentian, Canada)
· Gary Steiner
(Bucknell, USA)
· Jeffrey Bussolini
(CUNY, USA)
· Morten Tønnessen
(Tartu, Estonia)
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There will also be a number of local speakers and participants. It is a small but intensive interdisciplinary workshop at the borders of animal behaviour science, the ecological humanities and Continental philosophy, under the auspices of the Macquarie University Animals and Society Working Group within the Centre for Research on Social Inclusion. Though space is limited, if you are working in the history and philosophy of ethology and would like to participate, please contact Matthew Chrulew at: mchrulew@gmail.com
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Please note that a public lecture is also being planned; details of which may also be obtained by contacting Matthew.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

New York presentation confirmed

My abstract ´Integrated biological individualism and the primacy of the individual level of biological organization´ has been accepted as basis for a presentation at the 11th Gathering in biosemiotics, to take place in New York June 22-26.

Monday, 20 December 2010

MAO: First meeting carried out

The first, virtual meeting of the organizers of the Minding Animals Prelecture event in Oslo (MAO) next year was carried out Thursday December 16th (I took part from Rio de Janeiro, where I am for a month around Christmas). 2 and a half hour of chat...
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Kristian Bjørkdahl is not joining us after all, but have in stead suggested Martin Lee Mueller, also of Centre for Development and the Environment, who now has joined our organizing team (eco-phenomenological, deep ecological master thesis, 2008: Symphony of Silences: A Journey Through a Multicentric World).
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The MAO event will now for sure span over 2 days, October 14-15, 2011. The task for the participants for Saturday October 15th will be to work out and compose a manifesto on the relationship between academia and activism with regard to human-animal relations.

Norwegian HAS anthology: Book proposal submitted

The book proposal for our Norwegian Human-Animal Studies anthology work-titled ´Der natur møter kultur: Mennesket og andre dyr´ has been submitted to Gyldendal Dokumentar, and is currently pending feedback. Meanwhile, Svenn Arne Lie has withdrawn from the book project and Aksel Nærstad is joining us.

Aberdeen conference on conservation conflicts

The conference Conservation Conflicts: Strategies for coping with a changing world (ACES 2011) will take place in Aberdeen, Scotland, August 22-24 2010. Looks really interesting. A call for papers is due January 16th. The design of the conference, which is organized by the Aberdeen Centre for Environmental Sustainability, is interdisciplinary and spans over both natural and social sciences.
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Five themes are included:
1. Understanding conflicts
2. Case studies in species conflicts
3. Case studies in protected area conflicts
4. Case studies in land use/ecosystem services conflicts
5. Approaches to managing conflicts

Saturday, 11 December 2010

Semiotics of Perception - issue, offprints received

A few days ago I received the special issue of Biosemiotics Semiotics of Perception, for which I am a guest editor along with Kati Lindström, in the mail.

And today I received the offprints of my single-authored articles in that issue, "Wolf land" and "Steps to a semiotics of being". The latter in particular means a lot to me.

Mapping human impact approaching publication

I have received my article "Mapping human impact: Expanding horizons - Interdisciplinary integration", an outcome of the second CECT autumn seminar, for checking of language editing and technical editing. This is due early January at the latest.

The proceedings will appear next spring.

The southern wolf shot

A few days ago the Southern wolf that I have previously posted about here in Utopian Realism - and commented in the Norwegian regional daily Fædrelandsvennen (and written a chronicle about in the same newspaper) - was shot dead in Lyngdal municipality in the region of Vest-Agder, according to media reports.

New Uexkull translations to be reviewed


Around the time of my visit to Tartu the last week of November I received the news that a new translation of Jakob von Uexküll has just been published:

A FORAY INTO THE WORLDS OF ANIMALS AND HUMANS, with A Theory of Meaning
By Jakob von Uexküll
Translated by Joseph D. O'Neil
Introduction by Dorion Sagan
Afterword by Geoffrey Winthrop Young
University of Minnesota Press | 280 pages | 2010

The book is published as volume 12 of the Posthumanities series.

It is neither the first nor the last time these texts are translated, but it will be interesting to compare it with both the originals (Bedeutungslehre and Streifzüge durch die Umwelten von Tieren und Menschen) and the other existing translation of each text.

I have now scheduled with my supervisor Kalevi Kull that I will, as an assignment for the doctoral seminar of autumn 2010, carry out a review of the translation (whether for publication or not).

Oslo II - belated report

November 11th I gave my talk 'Ulovlig jakt på ulv' (Illegal wolf hunting) in Kriminalpolitisk seminar in Oslo (University of Oslo), cf. preliminary posts. About an hour - followed by remarks by professor emeritus Nils Christie, and general discussion. There were perhaps 30 people in the audience, and the discussion was engaged and lively, not least since Christie positioned himself - at least initially - as somewhat 'anti-wolf'. He interpreted the 'wolf wars' as a social (i.e. human-human) conflict, and sided with the weak part, which he took to be rural wolf antagonists. Interestingly, Christie accepted my portrayal of the wolf as a symbol for other rural and agricultural hardships - but we disagree on whether or not it makes any sense to 'give the wolf antagonists this victory' (getting rid of the wolf). In my analysis, it wouldn't change the underlying frustration with current developments, and so would be a shallow solution in the sense of Arne Næss' deep ecology; in Christies, "they deserve it". We agreed, however, on the topic of illegal wolf hunting, that it would be a good sign, and further the public debate on wolf management, if those who partake in poaching of wolves could step forward and admit to, and defend, what they do.

In addition to giving the abovementioned presentation, I
* met with eco-criminologists Ragnhild Sollund and Guri Larsen concerning our human-animal relations anthology in-progress
* spent some time at Gentle Actions, meeting with David Rothenberg, David Abram and Per Ingvar Haukeland
* met my colleague in edutainment François Sibbald (our conference concept ARC (Authority - role - communication) - is in progress and scheduled for release early next summer).

I was, that time around, in Oslo Nov. 10-12.

Prospects for further wolf research?

As mentioned previously I am involved in an application for a 2011-2016 research project on Environmental semiotics, based at University of Tartu's Department of Semiotics. The last few weeks I have pondered about what I could do, if it proves successful (and if my role as a researcher is confirmed).

There's plenty of meaningful work to be done - including, on the travel scene, visits to destinations in Norway, Sweden, Estonia and beyond (Yellowstone, Wolf park, Alaska, Canada, Russia).

So far I have been working with wolves (some of them being more cooperative than others) since 2006.

Existential universals - update

Transcending Signs - Essays around Eero Tarasti's existential semiotics is in progress. My contribution, "Existential universals - biosemiosis and existential semiosis", is now pending re-submission OR revision, depending on my decision. This is due January 15th.

The editors of the book, to be published by Mouton de Gruyter, are Paul Forsell and Rick Littlefield.

SKANDULV seminar - belated 'report'

In mid-November I was planning to go to Trondheim for a research stay, but got the chance to partake in the annual research seminar of SKANDULV, the Scandinavian wolf project, so I went there instead (Nov. 15-18). The seminar took place at Strömsbergs säteri & konferens close to Västerås, an hour's drive from Stockholm.

At the seminar, I gave a talk entitled 'En økosemiotisk analyse av norsk ulveforvaltning' (An ecosemiotic analysis of Norwegian wolf management). I also got the chance to meet a lot of wolf ethologists whose work I had previously only read, not heard presented in person.

MIA Oslo - first planning meeting

The individual organizers of the Oslo Minding Animals pre-conference event now counts four: Rhys Evans, me, green criminologist Rune Ellefsen and Kristian Bjørkdahl (PhD project: The dog and the hog and a world of difference: Pragmatism and human-animal relations).

We'll have our first, virtual planning meeting next week.

Pictures from my field trip to Rendalen and Stor-Elvdal

The book store at Koppang, Stor-Elvdal - "read about handicapped Emilie and her dramatic fight for survival in the wilderness of Østerdalen".

Koppangtunet hotel, Stor-Elvdal.

Rendalen municipality house (Bergset, Rendalen).

The public library at Koppang, Stor-Elvdal.

Rendalen (Åkrestrømmen).

Philosophy in antiquity exam

This Monday I prepared the exam questions for this year's exam in Philosophy in antiquity at the University of Agder. The exam takes place Monday 13th.

Rendalen report

I have not yet reported from my field trip to Rendalen municipality in the Norwegian region of Hedmark, cf. post on plans (but the visit has already triggered both reflection and academic production, cf. my article 'Visjon 2040' and my research seminar presentation on the nature view and worldview of people in Rendalen).

The trip took place October 28 - November 2nd. The most important work carried out consisted in conducting 8 interviews, with:

RENDALEN municipality

Major

Head of section for planning and business

Consultant, agrigulture

STOR-ELVDAL municipality

Head of section for planning and business

Head of RENDALEN REN (reindeer)

Sheep farmer (and NGO representative), Rendalen

Former sheep farmer couple, Rendalen

State licenced wolf hunter, Stor-Elvdal

In Rendalen, I was particularly pleased to hear about ROSAREN, a project designed to look into the potential for local business dependent on, or not in conflict with, the presence of big carnivores including wolves.

188 papers examined

This morning I finished examining 188 exam papers for the University of Stavanger, in the subject Examen Philosophicum (Ex.Phil - introductory philosophy) - cf. previous post. Last year this time of year I examined 155+11=166 papers, this year it was 179+9 (home exam papers + school exam papers), all together 22 more (all in all a pile of about half a meter).

The topic was the knowledge theories of Aristotle, Descartes and Hume, and their potential applicability in nursing.

The wolf wars: Vision 2040

The article-in-the-making I referred to a month ago, "Visjon 2040: Fra overlagt rovdrift til Utopi Buane" was finished, as a first draft at least, December 3rd (30.000 characters). Samtiden, the Norwegian general journal, once again responded quickly. They welcome a second, revised version of the text. If the revision goes according to plan (to be submitted early January), the article can hopefully be published in issue 2 or 3 of 2011.

Contents
* En hybrid forteller
* De to Norger
* Rendalen og verden
* Konspirasjon og kunnskap
* To natursyn
* Nederlagets symboler
* Levende bygder - på trygd
* Sannheten om sau og ulv
* Fra status quo til hva nå?
* Ikke mer skjebnetro!
* Rasjonelt og rasjonelt, fru Blom
* Rikdommens paradokser
* Norge 2040 (Utopi Buane)

References, green criminology

My article The legality and ethical legitimacy of wolf hunting in Scandinavia is mentioned as one out of six articles in 'øko-global kriminologi' (eco-global criminology) from a NsFK research seminar report on the Nordic eco-global criminology site.

The latest Nordic green criminology newsletter, administered by Rune Ellefsen, mentions these six articles indirectly and also the Oslo Minding Animals event to take place October 14th, 2011.