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Minding Animals Conference 2009

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Sune Borkfelt - Speaker

Presented the paper "What’s in a Name? – Consequences of Naming Non-Human Creatures". Abstract: The act of naming is among the most basic actions of language. Indeed, it is naming something that enables us to communicate about it in specific terms, whether the object named is human or non-human, animate or inanimate. However, naming is not as uncomplicated as we may usually think and names have consequences for the way we think about animals (human and non-human), peoples, species, places, things etc. Using examples from, among other things, the Bible, Martin Luther, colonialism/imperialism, mythology and the practice of keepers of non-human animals, this paper traces the importance of (both specific and generic) naming to our relationships with the non-human. It explores this topic from the naming of the animals in Genesis to the names given and used by scientists, owners of companion animals, media etc. in our societies today, and asks the question of what the consequences of naming non-human animals are for us, for the beings named and for the power relations between our species and the non-human species and individuals we name.
13 Jul 200918 Jul 2009


ConferenceMinding Animals Conference 2009
LocationUniversity of Newcastle
CityNewcastle, NSW


ID: 96797863