Second Edition. Thinking beyond Boundaries

We invite you to take part to the Anthrozoology Symposium, Second Edition, organised by the Institute of Economic and Social Research „Gh. Zane” (Romanian Academy – Iasi Branch), in association with the Faculty of Biology („Al. I. Cuza” University of Iasi), the Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences („Babes – Bolyai” University of Cluj), the Faculty of Veterinarian Medicine („Ion Ionescu de la Brad” University for Agricultural Studies and Veterinarian Medicine of Iasi) and Rural Development Research Platform.

The rethinking of our relationship with animals and the ways in which it is possible, and also morally acceptable to treat them, is a subject of increasing concern for us. The way that we understand animals shapes the way we relate to and use them, and for this particular reason  rethinking  our relation to them is of paramount importance. We fear the things we should give up in case we choose to re-evaluate the place non-human animals occupy in the known and accepted order of the world. The old paradigm where they were „just animals” is in danger of collapsing faced with new questions on both what justifies human domination of nature and what differences are genuinely important and in which context.

Despite our efforts to identify the unique and special human traits, the term „animal” applies to human beings, too; thus, the animals different from us are named, more specifically, non-human animals. Consequently, if we try to think beyond the human – animal divide, we understand that all attempts to classify the living beings are subjective. We should not forget that all the divisions according to genus, species, race or type are but an instrument to understand nature, and the human, as observer, is the one who establishes the ways of evaluation and hierarchy.

This year’s edition of the Symposium is dedicated to this subject: how we can think across the divisions, the classifications, the boundaries, to become better equipped to understand the complexities of the relations that we form with the other species. Rethinking our relation is, by far, not an easy task, primarily due to the human – animal opposition, deeply embeded in our culture, and also to our scientific predisposition to precisely classify and define.

Consequently, we need a committed investigation, involving scientists and researchers from various fields concerned with the human – animal bond, in order to study and understand the way our relations with other species form, develop and last in time.

During the Anthrozoology Symposium we invite you to take part in a debate forum focused on the following topics concerning the human – animal interactions:

  • Ideas, concepts and beliefs about animals;
  • Theories about the differences and distance between humans and animals;
  • Animal Rights and human responsibilities;
  • Species extinction and human responsibility;
  • Animals in literature, mythology, art, and folklore;
  • Animal psychology;
  • Cognitive ethology;
  • Mental models and economic value in human-animal interactions in a historic perspective;
  • Animal protection movement and the laws that support it;

The Anthrozoology Symposium will take place at the Institute of Economic and Social Research, on the 1st and 2nd of November, 2019. The registration is open until May the 15th. The registration form may be found on our website rdrp/simpozionul-de-antrozoologie/.