04/11/2011 11:42 | Ester Ehnsmyr

Funding from VR for Animal Studies project

The Centre researchers Jacob Bull and Pär Segerdahl received funding for five years for the project Becoming "human": gender theory and animals in a more-than-human world, according to yesterday's announcement of approved grants for gender research projects from the Swedish Research Council (VR).

Together with Ann-Sofie Lönngren from the Department of Literature at Uppsala University, they got a total of six millions for the coming five years.

The project is about the active role animals play in the definition of "the human":

"We have long considered that we shape our humanity through our interactions with other people but increasingly work has recognised that we shape our humanity through interactions with the more-than-human world. The category of "human" has always been contingent on a category of "non-human", and through it lines of race, class, gender, sexuality, ethnicity and ability have been drawn and redrawn. This has been part of a process of "othering" - setting a white, middle class, western, heterosexual, able, male humanity against a bestial, animal "non humanity" into which people of different class, sex, race gender and ethnicity can be placed. But relations have not just been oppositional, they have also been reliant - we "become with" other species, we are reliant on animals as they work for us in all sorts of physical (e.g. providing food or lining the gut so that we can digest food) and ideological (e.g. the role pets play in shaping our identity).

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