Keynote Speakers

Mieke Roscher

Current Objectives of Historical Human-Animal Studies: Interspecies Societies and Relations after the Animal Turn

When his­to­ri­an Har­riet Rit­vo in 2007 ob­ser­ved that an “Ani­mal Turn” had en­t­e­red the hu­ma­nities and the so­ci­al and cul­tu­ral sci­en­ces, the ubi­qui­ty of ani­mals was fi­nal­ly re­cei­ved ade­qua­te­ly by the­se di­sci­pli­nes. May­be, howe­ver, she was so­mew­hat over­zea­lous. Of cour­se, ani­mals were pop­ping up here and the­re, but to speak of a new school of thin­king was per­haps a bit pre­ma­tu­re. Howe­ver, what hap­pe­n­ed in the past ten ye­ars has pro­ven Rit­vo right. We can now speak of an ani­mal so­cio­lo­gy, an ani­mal geo­gra­phy, a mul­tis­pe­cies eth­no­gra­phy and, of cour­se, an ani­mal his­to­ry. Ha­ving pu­blis­hed her first mo­no­graph, The Animal Estate in 1987, Rit­vo was may­be just ahead of her time.

My talk will fo­cus on the be­co­m­ing of ani­mals in Rit­vo’s field whi­le sho­w­ing how the in­ter­di­sci­pli­na­ry na­tu­re of Hu­man-Ani­mal Stu­dies has fu­e­led the dis­cus­sion about the ani­mals’ ca­pa­ci­ties and their agen­cy and made it pos­si­ble to talk about ani­mals as more than his­to­ri­cal ob­jects. My talk will fur­ther in­tro­du­ce cur­rent ap­proa­ches, such as pra­xio­gra­phy or new ma­te­ria­lism and show how they re­so­na­te in his­to­ri­cal wri­ting. Fi­nal­ly, it will pre­sent the con­cept of a new po­li­ti­cal his­to­ry of ani­mals as a me­tho­do­lo­gy to wri­te about ani­mals af­ter the Ani­mal Turn.


Ro­scher, Mie­ke, and André Kreb­ber, eds. (2018). Animal Biographies. Reframing Animal Lives. Lon­don: Pal­gra­ve Mac­mil­lan.

Ro­scher, Mie­ke (2018). “New Po­li­ti­cal His­to­ry and the Wri­ting of Ani­mal Li­ves,” in: Hil­da Kean / Phil­ipp How­ell (eds.), The Routledge Companion to Animal-Human History. Lon­don: Rout­ledge.

Ro­scher, Mie­ke (2018). “Ve­te­ri­na­ry Me­di­ci­ne and Ani­mal Wel­fa­re Dis­cour­ses in the Third Reich, in: Food Ethics 1.3. 235–245.

Ro­scher, Mie­ke (2017). “Cu­ra­ting the Body Po­li­tic: The Spa­tia­li­ty of the Zoo and the Sym­bo­lic Con­struc­tion of Ger­man Na­ti­onhood (Ber­lin 1933‒1961),” in: Ja­cob Bull / Tora Holm­berg / Ce­ci­lia Åsberg (eds.), Animals and Place: Lively Cartographies of Human-Animal Relations. Lon­don: Ash­ga­te.

Mieke Roscher,Pro­fes­sor of So­ci­al and Cul­tu­ral His­to­ry and the His­to­ry of Hu­man-Ani­mal Re­la­ti­ons at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Kas­sel, Ger­ma­ny,holds the first pro­fes­sor­ship in Ger­ma­ny de­di­ca­ted to the his­to­ri­cal stu­dy of hu­man-ani­mal re­la­ti­ons. She ear­ned her doc­to­ral de­gree with a com­pa­ra­ti­ve stu­dy of the his­to­ry and po­li­tics of the Bri­tish ani­mal rights mo­ve­ment at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Bre­men. Her dis­ser­ta­ti­on re­sul­ted in the pu­bli­ca­ti­on, Ein Königreich für Tiere. Die Geschichte der britischen Tierrechtsbewegung (2009). She is a foun­ding mem­ber of the Fo­rum Ani­mals & His­to­ry, the as­so­cia­ti­on of Ger­man-spea­king his­to­ri­ans in­vol­ved with Hu­man-Ani­mal Stu­dies, and the For­schungs­in­itia­ti­ve Tier­theo­rie (FITT). Fur­ther, she is a re­se­arch as­so­cia­te with the New Ze­a­land Cen­ter of Hu­man-Ani­mal Stu­dies (NZ­HAS). Her re­se­arch in­te­rests fo­cus on co­lo­ni­al his­to­ry (es­pe­cial­ly Bri­tish In­dia), gen­der his­to­ry, ani­mal his­to­ry and his­to­rio­gra­phy, and the his­to­ry of the Third Reich.


Roman Bartosch

Teaching Animality in the Face of Extinction

What, how, and who are we teaching when we are ‘teaching hu­man-ani­mal stu­dies’? Re­cent de­ve­lop­ments in the field have broa­de­ned the scope of con­cern from a fo­cus on ani­mal image­ry to fun­da­men­tal theo­re­ti­cal and me­tho­do­lo­gi­cal ques­ti­ons per­tai­ning to the hu­man-ani­mal di­vi­de, the ethics of en­ga­ging with the more-than-hu­man world, and post-an­thro­po­centric pe­dago­gi­cal prin­ci­ples. More re­cent­ly, and in light of mo­ve­ments such as Extinc­tion Re­bel­li­on and Fri­days for Fu­ture as well as in line with re­se­arch on the ‘sixth mass extinc­tion’ event, teaching hu­man-ani­mal stu­dies is also pres­sed to pon­der what it me­ans to teach in times of ca­ta­stro­phic bio­di­ver­si­ty loss and exis­ten­ti­al grief.

My keyno­te will re­view the de­ve­lop­ment of hu­man-ani­mal stu­dies as both scho­lar­ly and edu­ca­tio­nal en­t­er­pri­se and un­der­li­ne links bet­ween di­ver­ging per­spec­tives from li­tera­ry and cul­tu­ral stu­dies as well as pe­dago­gies. It will point to over­laps as well as po­ten­ti­al con­flicts in both fiel­ds and ar­gue for a grea­ter con­sili­ence nee­ded to crea­te a ‘pe­dago­gy of the un­pre­ce­den­ted’ (Greg Gar­rard) in pe­ri­lous times. Spe­ci­fi­cal­ly, it will ask what li­te­ra­tu­re and art have to teach us about kno­wing and fee­ling extinc­tion and make a case for crea­ti­ve wri­ting and li­tera­ry rea­ding as key op­por­tu­nities for a hu­m­ani­mal pe­dago­gy. For this case to be made, I will as­sess re­cent de­ve­lop­ments in post­hu­ma­nism and ecocri­ti­cism and their be­a­ring on non-an­thro­po­centric scho­lar­ship and edu­ca­ti­on. I will pre­sent two ex­am­ples from my own re­se­arch and teaching prac­tice: The first is con­cer­ned with crea­ti­ve li­tera­ry re­s­pon­ses and what Ro­bert Mac­Far­la­ne calls ‘De­se­cra­ti­on Phrase­books’ – crea­ti­ve texts by stu­dents “for the pur­po­se of collec­ting, trans­la­ting and crea­ting a new vo­ca­bu­la­ry for the An­thro­po­ce­ne” (see Clark 2019, 12). The se­cond ex­amp­le will cri­ti­cal­ly as­sess the mea­ning of the se­cond big edu­ca­tio­nal de­ba­te in this con­text – di­gi­ti­sa­ti­on –and dis­cuss po­ten­ti­al ways of fos­te­ring cri­ti­cal en­vi­ron­men­tal li­ter­a­cies and af­fec­tive ent­an­gle­ments through a par­ti­ci­pa­to­ry, crea­ti­ve, and im­mer­si­ve en­ga­ge­ment with short vi­de­os and di­gi­tal me­dia in the Eng­lish class­room.

Me­tho­do­lo­gi­cal­ly, both ex­am­ples draw on three re­la­ted task de­signs on the mi­cro-, meso-, and ma­cro-le­vels of agen­cy (i.e., in­di­vi­du­al, com­mu­nal, and glo­bal le­vels; cf. Bar­tosch 2020). Crea­ti­ve forms of en­ga­ge­ment on the­se le­vels are meant to mo­bi­li­se pro­ces­ses of sym­bo­lic and af­fec­tive en­ga­ge­ment with ‘earth others’ and take par­ti­cu­lar ad­van­ta­ge of the po­ten­ti­al­ly im­mer­si­ve na­tu­re of di­gi­tal me­dia and the am­bi­gui­ties of li­tera­ry wri­ting. The pre­sen­ta­ti­on con­clu­des by out­li­ning some im­pli­ca­ti­ons of this task de­sign for a re­vi­sed mo­del of com­pe­tence ac­qui­si­ti­on in sustaina­bi­li­ty con­texts and by re­con­nec­ting the­se ar­gu­ments with lar­ger de­ba­tes in the en­vi­ron­men­tal hu­ma­nities.  


Bar­tosch, Ro­man (2020). Literature – Pedagogy – Climate Change. Text Models for a Transcultural Ecology. Ba­sing­s­to­ke: Pal­gra­ve Mac­mil­lan.

Bar­tosch, Ro­man (2016). ‘Ani­mals Outs­ide in the Teaching Ma­chi­ne’.  Anglistik - International Journal of English Studies 27.2. 147-164.

Clark, Ti­mo­thy (2019). The Value of Ecocriticism. Cam­bridge: Cam­bridge Uni­ver­si­ty Press.

Gar­rard, Greg (2017). ‘Towards an Un­pre­ce­den­ted Ecocri­ti­cal Pe­dago­gy’. Teaching Literature. Ed. Ben Knights. Ba­sing­s­to­ke: Pal­gra­ve Mac­mil­lan. 189-207.

Roman Bartoschis As­so­cia­te Pro­fes­sor of Teaching An­glo­pho­ne Li­te­ra­tu­res and Cul­tu­res at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Co­lo­gne, Ger­ma­ny. He is aut­hor and edi­tor of 10 books and over 40 scho­lar­ly ar­ti­cles and is in­te­rested in en­vi­ron­men­tal and hu­man-ani­mal stu­dies, Eng­lish teaching me­tho­do­lo­gies and trans­cul­tu­ral learning, in­clu­si­ve edu­ca­ti­on as well as Edu­ca­ti­on for Sustaina­bi­li­ty. His la­test book, Literature – Pedagogy – Climate Change. Text Models for a Transcultural Ecology, is forth­co­m­ing with Pal­gra­ve Mac­mil­lan in 2020. He is cur­rent­ly working on the to­pic of extinc­tion and the im­pli­ca­ti­ons of cli­ma­te chan­ge and re­la­ted extinc­tion events for Eng­lish com­pe­ten­ces in the con­text of Edu­ca­ti­on for Sustaina­bi­li­ty.