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Queen's University

Events and Speakers in Animal Studies

Upcoming Speakers, Conferences & Workshops

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Past Speakers, Conferences & Workshops

Thinking outside the Cage: Towards a Nonspeciesist Paradigm for Scientific Researchwas an APPLE-sponsored conference held at Queen’s in March 2014. Scientific research is currently governed on the premise that humans have a right to use sentient animals as subjects of harmful research for our benefit. What would a non-speciesist alternative look like?  We invited leading scientists, public policy experts, humane educators, legal scholars and political theorists to help us identify the opportunities and challenges involved in pursuing a new ethical, legal and political framework regarding animals in research. Can the same legal and regulatory safeguards regarding the use of human subjects in research also be extended to animal subjects? Can questions regarding the treatment of animals within academic institutions be reframed as matters of public responsibility, and made subject to democratic deliberation by the larger community? This conference encouraged critical reflection on the limits of existing regulations, and inspired creative thinking about alternative frameworks and effective avenues to change. Funding was generously provided by the Abby Benjamin Fellowship program, and the Queen's Forum for Philosophy and Public Policy. A detailed report of the conference is posted at the conference website: and is also available here as a PDF.


Past Speakers

Tracy Isaacs delivered the Graham Kennedy Memorial Lecture on Thursday, September 11, 2014. The title for her talk was “Kitchen Nightmares: When Ethical Eaters Come to Dinner”. Isaacs is a Professor in the Departments of Philosophy and Women’s Studies and Feminist Research (WSFR) at Western University in London, Ontario. Her research focuses on issues of responsibility in collective action contexts, collective obligation, ethics and feminist ethics. She also works on feminist issues in sport and fitness, food, dieting and body image.

Tyler (T.J.) Kasperbauer delivered an APPLE-sponsored talk entitled “Should We Bring Back the Passenger Pigeon?  The Ethics of De-extinction” on March 31, 2014. T J Kasperbauer was recently awarded his doctorate in Philosophy from Texas A & M University.

Jeff McMahan will deliver the Chancellor Dunning Trust Lecture on October 31, 2013, at 4:30 pm (Watson Hall 517). The title for his talk is "Killing Animals and Causing them to Suffer". McMahan is Professor of Philosophy, Rutgers University. He began his doctoral work at Oxford University under the supervision of Jonathan Glover and Derek Parfit, then completed the PhD at Cambridge University under the supervision of Bernard Williams. He is the author of  The Ethics of Killing: Problems at the Margins of Life  (Oxford University Press, 2002) and  Killing in War  (Oxford University Press, 2009). He has several other books forthcoming from Oxford University Press, including a collection of essays called  The Values of Lives , a book on war intended for both academic and nonacademic readers called  The Right Way to Fight,  and a sequel to his 2002 book called  The Ethics of Killing: Self-Defense, War, and Punishment.

Zipporah Weisberg will deliver the Queen’s Department of Philosophy Colloquium on November 21, 2013 at 4:30 pm (Watson Hall 517) . The title for her talk is “Phenomenology, Ethology and Animal Ethics”. Weisberg is the Abby Benjamin Postdoctoral Fellow in Animal Ethics at Queen's University. See "Affiliated Researchers" for a full description of her research project.

Maneesha Deckha will give a talk as part of the Queen’s Faculty of Law Visiting Speakers and Lecturers Program on November 22, 2013. The title of her talk is “Beyond Personhood: Toward an Embodied Legal Subjectivity for Animals”. Deckha is Associate Professor of Law at the University of Victoria. Her research interests include critical animal law, postcolonial feminist theory, health law and bioethics. Her work has appeared in Hypatia, Ethics & the Environment, the Harvard Journal of Gender and Law, the Journal for Critical Animal Studies, the McGill Law Journal, and Sexualities among other publications. She has received grants from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council. In 2008 she held the Fulbright Visiting Chair in Law and Society at New York University.

Gary Steiner delivered the Queen’s Department of Philosophy Colloquium on September 26, 2013. The title for his talk was “The Pathocentric Basis of Animal Rights”. Steiner is John Howard Harris Professor of Philosophy at Bucknell University in Lewisburg, PA, where he has taught since 1987. He is the author of Descartes as a Moral Thinker: Christianity, Technology, Nihilism (2004); Anthropocentrism and Its Discontents: The Moral Status of Animals in the History of Western Philosophy (2005); Animals and the Moral Community: Mental Life, Moral Status, and Kinship (2008); and Animals and the Limits of Postmodernism (2013).


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