Veterinary humanities conference to explore role of human-animal relationships

Inaugural Network of Veterinary Humanities conference: Doing animal health in a more-than-human world.
File image. Photo by Kayla Farmer

The inaugural conference of the Network of Veterinary Humanities is taking place in digital form next week.

The topic of the online conference, on October 8 and 9, is Doing animal health in a more-than-human world. Hosted by Messerli Research Institute, University of Vienna, Medical University of Vienna, and the University of Veterinary Medicine, the conference will capitalise on the interest in veterinary science/medicine from the humanities and the social sciences.

Among the topics is “The Concept of Quality of Life for Horses”, which will be presented by Mariessa Long. The full program is here.

Specific to the approaches of veterinary humanities is that animals and human-animal relationships play a crucial role. Research into medical practice and knowledge production has to take animals into account, as agents and as part of a more-than-human society.

“From this perspective, Veterinary medicine is not just applied science, but a complex and multi-contextual profession. The focus of this research looks upon the societal and cultural impacts of veterinary knowledge, technologies and practices. Furthermore, the ways in which Veterinary Medicine is shaped by cultural values, societal structures and social dynamics are investigated,” organisers say.

“At this first conference, we aim to further explore the implications of this perspective: How does veterinary knowledge translate into animal bodies and minds and render certain configurations of knowledge-based practice in society rational? And how is professional work in the field of animal healthcare situated in economic, political, spatial and socio-cultural contexts?” organisers say.

The conference will be held from 11.30am at the Messerli Research Institute, which focuses on human-animal relations. The facility is located at the Campus of the Veterinary University in Vienna, Austria.

Those interested can attend the conference as a guest.

Latest research and information from the horse world.

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