Claude Levi-Strauss once said "animals are good to think." But some animals are clearly better to think than others, and the place of the domestic cat in the history of ideas, from ancient Egypt to the internet (which is of course "made of cats") is unsurpassed. With particular focus on the Renaissance, this talk will look at some of the questions cats have prompted humans to ask of themselves and of the human-animal divide itself.
Louisa Mackenzie is Associate Professor in the Department of French and Italian Studies. Her teaching interests range from the French Renaissance (where most of her research has been focused), through to contemporary science fiction, film, women's writing, ecocriticism, and Animal Studies. She has taught mostly in French but currently offers two courses in English: "Europe in French Film", and a graduate seminar on French Animal Studies. She will develop several more cross-disciplinary courses in English over the next few years. She is the author of a book on environment and poetry in the French Renaissance, which won an honorable mention from the MLA in 2012, and co-editor of a forthcoming edited volume on Animal Studies in French and Francophone contexts. She has two articles forthcoming on animals in 16th-century humanist thought (including one on her favorite Renaissance beast, a sea-monster).
7PM-January 9, January 30, February 13, February 27 and March 6
Henry Art Gallery Auditorium \ University of Washington
Presented in partnership with the University of Washington's Critical Animal Studies working group.
Animals occupy a paradoxical place in the world: they are everywhere, yet hidden. This course explores the histories, politics, and cultural dynamics of how humans see and do not see animals in the world. Bringing expertise from wildlife sciences, animal welfare, geography, anthropology, literature and political science, a distinguished set of speakers will explore human-animal connections in a range of global and historical contexts, including Renaissance France, contemporary Peru, and urban and rural spaces in the United States.
This series of lectures will be held at the Henry Art Gallery in conjunction with their upcoming exhibition by Ann Hamilton which will touch on themes of human and non-human animals. For more on Ann Hamilton and this exhibition click here.
Single tickets for each event may be purchased at the door for $20. The box office will open at 6:00 PM.