“Storytelling beyond the Human: Modelling Animal Experiences in Narrative Worlds”, Weds 6th May, 4.30pm

Sheffield Animals Research Colloquium (ShARC) and the School of English Research Seminar present

David Herman (Literature, Durham University)

Storytelling beyond the Human: Modelling Animal Experiences in Narrative Worlds

Wednesday, 6th May, 4.30-5.30pm

Richard Roberts Building, A87

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This presentation argues that previous research in narratology and stylistics has not investigated fully enough questions raised by the use of methods of thought presentation to model the experiential worlds of nonhuman animals. Outlining an expanded and diversified conception of the mind-narrative nexus, I link the narrative projection of nonhuman subjectivity with Uexküll’s idea of the Umwelt, an animal’s lived or phenomenal world. In this way, I suggest how stories can be used to explore potential heterogeneities–but also potential areas of commonality–in the structure of experience across the species boundary. Focusing on writers ranging from Jack London, Daphne du Maurier, and William Horwood to J. A. Baker and Esther Woolfson, I examine a variety of methods for presenting animals’ experiences, and also consider issues arising from the way those methods straddle the fiction/nonfiction divide.

David Herman, Professor of the Engaged Humanities at Durham University, is currently working to bring ideas from narrative studies into dialogue with scholarship on animals and human-animal relationships.

“The Habits and Habitats of Old English Riddle-Animals”, Weds 15th April, 5.30pm

Sheffield Animals Research Colloquium and the Medieval and Ancient Research Seminar present

Megan Cavell (Durham University)

“The Habits and Habitats of Old English Riddle-Animals”

This talk will discuss poetic depictions of the cuckoo, ox and porcupine in the Old English and Anglo-Latin riddle tradition. In analysing representations of these enigmatic animals, I will attempt to tease out Anglo-Saxon attitudes to non-humans that go above and beyond inherited tradition and anthropomorphisation.

Humanities Research Institute (HRI)
Weds. 15th April, 5.30-6.30pm
with refreshments from 5pm