CFP: Conference Taxidermic Forms and Fictions

TAXIDERMIC FORMS AND FICTIONS: Call for Papers for SLSA Conference, November 9 – 12th, 2017, Arizona State University, Tempe, Arizona. In our exploration of taxidermic forms and fictions, we will develop methods, frameworks, and paradigms that enable us to contextualize taxidermic practice in the wake of the anthropocene, an era of unparalleled species loss. How can thinking through the flesh – both human and nonhuman – initiate creative possibilities for an alternative present? How are literature, film, poetics, and art responding to the history of natural science, which has so meticulously recreated a microcosm of the world by preserving species that stand in as exceptional prototypes? What is the impact of the decay of these forms in the natural history museum? And even more pressing: what are the ethics of cutting and flaying animal bodies and fetishizing their forms? Can we attribute agency and subjectivity to the taxidermic animal? What would an ethical repurposing of taxidermy look like? Ruminating on these (and related) research questions, this panel will serve as a response to the recent flux of critical and creative work being produced on the subject of the taxidermy. The roundtable will consist of a panel of 20-minute presentations followed by a discussion period. Students and scholars of all disciplines are invited to participate. Please email 250-word abstracts to Susan McHugh and Sarah Bezan at and by April 15.

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