Panel on the relation between academia and activism in the context of human-animal studies
Participants: Kristin Oma Armstrong (postdoc. in archeology, Oslo University), Kristian Bjørkdahl (PhD fellow & researcher at Centre for Development and the Environment, Oslo University) and Hilde Hammerlin (humanist, Norwegian Animal Protection Alliance).
The aim of this panel is raising awareness and questions about the possibilities and pitfalls of projects where academics and animal advocates interact around common interests in human-animal relations. Scientific human-animal studies are today conducted within a number of scholarly disciplines, focusing on topics and questions of great interest to both scholars and advocates. Issues raised by social movement participants are forming a basis for research and academic inquiry, at the same time scientific knowledge is used by social movements in furthering their cause.
Cooperation and interaction between academics and advocates raises a line of questions: Where does one draw the line between academic activity and activism? What are the advantages and disadvantages of interaction between activists and academics? In what form – if at all – can academia and advocates cooperate? Which experiences exists from other scholarly fields where academics and activists are closely related, as for example within women/feminist studies?