Conference Recap: Living with Animals/Living with Horses (Richmond, KY)

‘Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat, Some We Need’: the 4th Biennial Living with Animals Conference

Eastern Kentucky University, Richmond, KY

March 21-23, 2019

Living with Animals is a biennial conference (on the odd years) hosted by the pioneering Eastern Kentucky University Animal Studies Program. Keynote speakers this year included Hal Herzog on dogs, Marcy Norton on iegue relationships in Amazonia and the Caribbean, Seth Magle on the Urban Wildlife Institute, Lucy Rees on wild horse ethology, and Clare Rittschof on the social lives of honey bees (bio and abstract info here). This diversity of speakers draws attention to the EKU Animal Studies Major, established in 2010 as the first degree-granting program in Animal Studies in the Department of Psychology, and its fundamentally interdisciplinary curriculum and methodology.  In this vein, the Living with Animals conference organizers Robert W. Mitchell, Radhika Makecha, and Michał Piotr Pręgowski have established an open and welcoming conference based on a clear mission statement: “In the spirit of the openhearted pursuit of academic freedom, we strive to create an atmosphere in which attendees holding a rich diversity of thoughts, beliefs and backgrounds can come together to broaden the human-animal studies discourse.”

Big_Lex_Wallpaper_1024x768_w_tag_365083e8-9ce2-4921-8205-06d7e43a970f

The blue-tinted “Big Lex”, an adaptation of the oil painting of the famous racehorse “Lexington” by the equine artist Edward Troye, to represent Bluegrass Country. 

Living with Horses represents a day-long stream of panels, a mini conference within a conference, co-organized by Gala Argent and Angela Hofstetter. Also in its 4th iteration, the Living with Horses explored the roles horses play in human lives and the impact of those roles on both humans and horses.  Equine History members presented in several panels and enjoyed hearing new and exciting research in the field to follow!

Lucy Rees, “Synchrony, Conflict, and the Human-Horse Relationship” (keynote)

As an equine ethologist, writer and horse trainer, Lucy has studied wild and feral horses in Wales, Spain and Uruguay for decades. Her 2017 book, Horses in Company, challenges commonly held conceptions of equine dominance hierarchies—not observed in horses living outside of stables and human handling—which form the basis of many schools of horsemanship.

HORSES IN HISTORY

Chimera or Centaur; or, Discourses of Modernity and the History of Breeding Practice, Kristen Guest & Monica Mattfeld

The Rise and Fall of the Atlanta Mule Market and the Cultural Work of Nostalgia for Mules in Georgia and the South, Brett Mizelle

The Farrier of Monticello: How Horse Husbandry Reflects Republican Virtue, Christian Y. Krueger

HORSES AND HUMANS, LIVING TOGETHER

Knowing Horses as Natural Beings and Social and Cultural Becomings; A Prerequisite to Understanding How to Live Better with Horses, Anita Maurstad

Equestrian Art as a Practice of the Self-With-Others, Stephen Smith

The Eroika Project: Classical Equitation, Trauma, and Horse-Human Bond, Angela Hofstetter

HORSES AND HUMANS SHARING CULTURE

From Commodity to Relic: Locating the Sumbawa Horse in Modern Indonesia, Michael Kirkpatrick Miller

Zydeco Beats and Dancing Horses: Music, Identity, and Non-Human Actors at Creole Trail Rides in Southwest Louisiana, Gwendolen von Einsiedel

Unpacking the Palio of Siena: The Cultural Roles of the Horse in Sienese Ritual and Remembrance, Tom Paradis

LIVING WITH HORSES PANEL DISCUSSION

Equine History Collective’s “Horse Human Relationships in Post-secondary Education Roundtable” (Panel Discussion), Kathryn Renton, Katrin Boniface, & Jeanette Vaught

KAREN DALKE MEMORIAL SESSION: HORSES IN THE WILD

The Space In Between, Sara B. Willerson

Horses and Cattle, Erin McKenna

Teaching Cowgirl Stories: The Rhetoric of Freedom, Ashley Wells

HORSES IN ART & LITERATURE

Straight Outta Barbary: Arabian Wild Horses and Their Racialized Representation in Sixteenth Century Literature, Jonathan W. Thurston

Moons Revolve, Moons Adore, Lee Deigaard

The “Read Horse” – Exploring the Possibility of Projection Mapping as an Equinebased Science-Art Worlding, Tamar V. S. McKee

EQUINE RESCUE, PROTECTION & PRESERVATION

Tourists’ Intrigue with Free-Roaming Horses, Ginny Grulke

Utilizing Horses for Therapy and Companionship in Order to Enhance their Adoptability, Karen Gustin

Tools for Protecting Endangered Equine Breeds, Victoria Tollman

Preserving an Historical Legacy: The Mountain Horse Oral History Project, Stephanie McSpirit, Neil Kasiak, Chad Cogdill, & Dan Renfrow

 

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