SmartPak sponsors #EqHist2018!

  We are absolutely delighted to announce SmartPak will be supporting our inaugural conference, coming up Nov. 30-Dec 2. We appreciate the research SmartPak puts in to their products, and their commitment to sharing all forms of equestrian education.

Haven’t registered for the conference yet? Join us in sunny SoCal! Registration is open!



CFP: Living with Horses

CALL FOR PAPERS for the 4th Biennial Conference:

Living with Animals

Theme: Some we love, some we hate, some we eat, some we need

Co-organizers: Robert W. Mitchell, Radhika Makecha, and Michał Pręgowski.

“Living with Animals 4” is an Animal Studies conference about all things animal and human-animal interaction, occurring at Eastern Kentucky University (EKU). EKU, located in Richmond, Kentucky, just south of Lexington, “The Horse Capital of the World,” began offering the first undergraduate degree in Animal Studies in 2010. We offer a Living with Animals conference every 2 years, and are pleased again to have an international set of speakers.

The conference is now over three days, March 21-23, 2019.

On Sunday, March 24, the day after the conference, we are hoping to have an optional day-long excursion to Salato Wildlife Center, and then to Buffalo Trace Distillery, both in Frankfort, Kentucky, but this is still in the planning stages.

The conference will be held in the Perkins Building at EKU. 


The conference centers on our ever-present relationships with animals examined through the arts and humanities, sciences, and applied fields. Consistent with the conference theme, our focus this time around is our diverse relationships with animals.  The theme derives from Hal Herzog’s well-known and influential book, Some we love, some we hate, some we eat: Why it’s so hard to think straight about animals. We hope presenters will find the relevance of their topic to the theme, but of course any topic related to animals or human-animal interaction is welcome.

The special day-long session, “Living with Horses”, a continuing conference in the Living with Animals conference, is co-organized by Gala Argent and Angela Hofstetter.

We are also hoping to attract presenters on the theme of “Living with Insects,” to draw attention to the precarious nature of so many insects in the world today.

We have 4 keynotes:

Hal Herzog is professor of Psychology at Western Carolina University. To find out more about him, see:

Marcy Norton is associate professor of History at the University of Pennsylvania. Her talk will focus on horse-human interactions in Western Europe and indigenous America between 1500-1800. To find out more about her, see:

Seth Magle is the Director of the Urban Wildlife Institute at the Lincoln Park Zoo in Chicago. The provisional title of his talk is “Building a global network for urban wildlife research.” To find out more about him, see:

Clare Rittschof is assistant professor of Entomology at the University Kentucky in Lexington. The provisional title of her talk is “The interwoven social lives of humans and honey bees.” To find out more about her, see:

Email contact:


Abstracts of 200 to (approximately) 400 words should be sent to The first line of the abstract should be the title of the talk, and the next line(s) should be the authors’ names, positions, affiliations, and email addresses. Following this should be a blank line, followed by the text of the abstract. All should be single spaced. Reference to existing bodies of work might be made.

Please also indicate if you would like your presentation to be a talk or a poster, or if you are offering a panel.  (We are open to other forms of presentations.) Posters are an excellent way to present some scientific and artistic works, and allow the presenter to engage closely with conference attendees who are most interested by their work. Posters will be available during the buffet lunch on Saturday, 23 March.

In addition, provide a one-page CV of your most relevant work and experience.

Individual paper presentation time will be 20 minutes, including time for questions. Panels (usually 3 people; maximum time, 1 hour) are welcome. All presentations and panels will be reviewed by the organizers.


Abstract submission deadline: December 10, 2018

(Abstracts received after this date will be reviewed and, if accepted, put in the program if space allows.)

Author notification: around December 22, 2018

Conference begins: March 21, 2019

Conference ends: March 23, 2019

Optional excursion: March 24, 2019

We recommend that participants arrive on March 20, and depart no earlier than the evening of March 23, to enjoy the conference fully.

CONFERENCE WEBPAGE: The conference website is The website contains information about registration, hotels, excursions, dinners, food issues, and more information about the keynote speakers.

CONFERENCE LOCATION: Eastern Kentucky University is located in historic Richmond, Kentucky, including many areas of historic and scenic interest. Fort Boonesborough State Park, birthplace of Kentucky, is located 12 miles to the north, and Civil War and many other historical sites are nearby. The university is located just south of Kentucky’s famed Bluegrass Region, internationally recognized for its horse culture. See for more information.


Peter Edwards Talk

   The Victoria County History of Shropshire Annual Lecture is being given by Professor Peter Edwards of University of Roehampton on Saturday October 27th. Register here. His most recent book ‘Horses and the Aristocratic Lifestyle in Early Modern England’ was published by Boydell & Brewer.

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Equine Cultures at WOCMES Recap


“Intersections of Equine Cultures in the Middle East, Europe and North Africa”
World Congress on Middle Eastern Studies
July 16-20, 2018
Seville, Spain 

“Conquest of Tunis”

   Horses cross borders, sometimes literally and sometimes figuratively. A panel dedicated to “The Intersections of Equine Cultures” at the recent World Congress on Middle Eastern Studies, hosted by the Three Cultures of the Mediterranean Foundation in Seville, explored equine connections between the Middle East, Europe and North Africa. 

   The panel, brought together by Gwyneth Talley (UCLA), discussed equine knowledge from translations of classical texts in Latin, Arabic and Persian, to contemporary racing cultures and their transnational relevance to questions of ethnic and class identity. 

Ferdinand III

The presentations began with Hylke Hettema[1] (Leiden University) who assessed the profound influence of Orientalism on descriptions of horses in the Middle East as “Arabian” by early colonial enthusiasts. Christoph Lange[2] (University of Cologne) described his anthropological fieldwork at horse racetracks in the Middle East, showing that long-standing popular culture offered a local inspiration for elite involvement in global racing circuits, beyond the influence of the British Empire. Marjan Afsharian[3] (Institute of Ismaili Studies) traced the numerous manuscript variations on a Sanskrit text translated into Persian and found in both British and French collections. Finally, Kathryn Renton (UCLA) discussed the common classical origins of both Arabic and Latin traditions of equine knowledge in the Iberian Peninsula, despite multiple routes of transmission. Together, the panel demonstrated the long-standing and shared interest in horses as carriers of culture across national and linguistic boundaries.

Carriage horse napping in Seville

[1] Hylke is the founder of Al Safy Arabians in Cairo, Egypt.

[2] Christoph published some of his research in “Purity, Nobility, Beauty and Performance: Past and Present Construction of Meaning for the Arabian Horse” in The Meaning of Horses: Biosocial Encounters edited by Dona Davis and Anita Maurstad (Routledge, 2016).

[3]  Marjan is an editor for the Encyclopaedia Islamica project at the Institute of Ismaili Studies in London, UK

Left to right: Christoph Lange, Hylke Hettema, Marjan Afsharian, Kathryn Renton

CFP: Animal/Language: An Interdisciplinary Conference

Held in conjunction with the art exhibition “Assembling Animal Communication”

Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX 21-23 March 2019

Confirmed Invited Speakers:

Catherine Chalmers, Stanford University Adrienne Martín, University of California, Davis

   Animals and language have a complicated relationship with one another in human understanding. Every period of history evinces a fascination with the diverse modes of communicative exchange and possibilities of linguistic community that exist both within and between species. Recent critics of anthropocentrism are far from the first to question the supposed muteness of the “dumb animal” and its ontological and ethical ramifications. Various cultures have historically attributed language to animals, and we have developed an increasingly sophisticated scientific understanding of the complex non-verbal communicative systems that animals use among themselves. New research complements millennia of human-animal communication in the contexts of work, play, and domestic life.

   Some people have extensive experience with real, live Screen Shot 2018-07-26 at 5.02.37 PM.png
animals. Some primarily encounter animals as products of the food industry. Some focus on animal representations in text or image, or deploy the abstract
figure of “the animal” as limit or counterpart of the human. These interactions condition different ways of
“thinking with animals,” including: using them in and as language or in experimentation, recruiting them as
symbols and metaphors, incorporating them into idiomatic expressions, projecting moral values onto them, and ventriloquizing them for purposes of cultural critique. A vast archive of literary, artistic, philosophical, historical, religious, and scientific explorations testifies that the boundaries and complementarities relating animals and language have always captured the human imagination.

Screen Shot 2018-07-26 at 5.02.47 PM    Animal/Language aims to create an interdisciplinary dialogue on the relationship between “animals” and “language” that considers both what connects and what separates these two key terms. The conference hopes to generate new scientific inquires and creative synergies by initiating conversation and exchange among scholars in the arts, humanities, natural sciences, and social sciences.

We therefore invite researchers from all fields, periods, and geographical areas to propose contributions engaging questions such as:

  • What are the real, imagined, or potential relationships between animals and language(s)?
  • What are animal languages?
  • What spaces or functions does the animal occupy within human language and cultural representation?
  • What is the role of animals in aesthetic or artistic meaning-making processes?
  • How do our interactions with animals shape our conceptions of animals and language?
  • How and why do we communicate with animals?
  • How and why do animals communicate with us?
  • How and why do animals communicate with one another?
  • What philosophical, ethical, and political questions are raised by different ways of affirming and denying connections between animals and language?
  • How should any of the above questions be historicized?

    Proposal Submission Deadline: September 30, 2018

       Proposals for 20-minute papers should be no more than 300 words long and include 3-5 keywords identifying your discipline and topic(s). All abstracts will be reviewed anonymously; please provide author name(s) and affiliations in your submission email, but omit them from your abstract itself. Please submit all proposals (in .docx or .pdf form) and questions to We plan to inform participants in early November.

    With many thanks,
    The Conference Organizers

    Dr. John Beusterien (Spanish), Dr. Belinda Kleinhans (German), Dr. Katy Schroeder (Animal & Food Sciences), Dr. Lucas Wood (French), Dr. Pamela Zinn (Classics), in collaboration with Joe Arredondo (Landmark Arts) and Dr. Kevin Chua (Art History)