NOVEMBER 21-22, 2019 (Pond Inlet)

Sponsored by Department of Sociology, Brock University; Niagara Action for Animals; Social Science & Humanities Research Council of Canada.

Dancing Fox, Ohara Shoson, 1877-1945

Our relations with canids are particularly intense: we welcome some into our homes as family members but others are regarded as demonic creatures to be exterminated. What do these relations tell us about ourselves and our societies? What do our relations with canids mean for our relations with other animals? What efforts are being made to protect canids from exploitation?

This conference focuses on wild and domesticated canids and their relationships and interactions with humans but we encourage contributions that consider implications for human relations with other animals generally.

Papers are welcomed on topics such as the following: 

  • historical & contemporary relations with canids;
  • canids, commodification, capitalism;
  • canid behaviour, cognition, emotions;
  • canids in art & culture; representation;
  • canid conservation;
  • canids in captivity; zoos;
  • pet-keeping; breeding;
  • canid companions, housing, family
  • fighting, racing, other forms of exploitation;
  • abuse, cruelty, neglect, violence & law;
  • rescue & sanctuary;
  • community/street dogs;
  • use of canids for food, fur, laboratory tools;
  • use of dogs as service & therapeutic tools;
  • cultural imperialism, postcolonialism, decolonization & canids.

We encourage papers that take a critical perspective and consider trans-species social justice.

The conference is organized around the launch of a new book, Dog’s Best Friend? Rethinking Canid-Human Relations, co-edited by John Sorenson and Atsuko Matsuoka, from McGill-Queens University Press  – MQUP book page:–products-9780773559066.php

Participants include contributors to the book as well as other academics and activists with a particular interest in canids.

Registration is free, the conference is open to all.

Our keynote speakers are:

Francis Battista, co-founder of Best Friends Animal Society. BFAS operates the largest sanctuary for homeless animals in the USA and provides adoption, spay/neuter and education programs.

Peter J. Li, University of Houston-Downtown. Dr. Li teaches comparative politics and is a specialist on China’s environmental and wildlife policies, serving as a consultant for international animal welfare organizations.

We particularly invite participation from activists working in canid protection efforts, such as dog rescue groups. Tables will be provided for interested groups, as space allows.

Vegan meals will be available for those who purchase them in advance. Details to be announced. (Payment must be by cheque, preferably in Canadian dollars.)

Please submit a 250 word abstract to by September 30, 2019.

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