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WASS Seminar:

Interpreting the human-animal relation


Problematizing the integration of animals in interpretive research
We invite PhD students, Postdocs and (WASS)scholars from various disciplines to participate in the seminar and its discussions. Maximum number of participants: 25 Registration closes: November 16th Participation fee: 35 (lunch and drinks included) Location: Piet de Visserzaal (V72), Hollandseweg 1, Wageningen Date/time: November 23rd 2012 10:15-15:30 Registration: www.wass.wur.nl More information: wass@wur.nl The multi origin meat/non-meat lunch is an explicit part of the seminar. Participants are asked at registration to choose the contents of their lunch and provide a short explanation for their choice. Lunch includes soup, drinks and fruit, and the following sandwich options: a) Ciabatta with grilled aubergine on a bed of chick pea mousse b) Organic roast beef sandwich, sprinkled with parmezan cheese c) Crispy brown roll with chicken, mango and coriander d) Grilled wild boar sandwich with a dressing of cranberry marmelade Additionally, there is a possibility to opt in for a late-afternoon walk in the surroundings of Wageningen and/or dinner at restaurant Vreemde Streken in the centre of Wageningen, with the host, keynote speaker, movie makers and presenters/organisers of the day (dinner at own expense). Organizing committee: Ir. Hanneke J. Nijland (WASS PhD student at the Communication Strategies Group) Ir. Susan Boonman-Berson (WASS PhD student at the Forest and Nature Conservation Policy and Environmental Policy Groups)

WASS Seminar: "Interpreting the human-animal relation"


The relation between animals and humans is a hot research topic. Although quite some research has been performed in this field, it largely remains unclear how exactly research that integrates animals and the human-animal relation is done. When doing research on the human-animal relation, inherently an interdisciplinary setting is addressed; it refers to sociological research (for instance on how humans think and talk about animals, how they interact with them, or ethical issues), as well as animal sciences (about how animals respond to human behaviour like the design of nature areas). Particularly in interpretive research, there is ambiguity about which methodologies are used, for what reason, and how the collected data is processed and interpreted. The seminar "Interpreting the human-animal relation" has a methodological emphasis: to problematize the integration of animals in interpretive research, to get a better hold on the methodological stance of doing research on the humananimal relation, specifically focussed on the interpretive approach. The selected speakers will highlight divergent understandings, perspectives and knowledge about various aspects of the human-animal relation. Interpretations from science, policy, society, experts and other stakeholders are taken into account and addressed in this seminar by the presenters as well as the movie shown. The main aim of the seminar is to deepen the understanding of ways to interpret the relation between humans and animals.

competent in interpretive methodology. She authored numerous articles as well as books on this topic, such as Empirical research methods and the interpretive turn (2006) and Interpretive Research Design: Concepts and Processes (2011) both with Peregrine Schwartz-Shea. Dvora will open the day, and participate in and guide discussions throughout the seminar. Presentation 1: Ir. Susan Boonman-Berson - Susan Boonman-Berson is a PhD student at the Forest and Nature Conservation Policy Group and Environmental Policy Group. Her research focusses on wildlife management and specifically Human-Wildlife-Conflict situations. The topic of her presentation is wild boar and black bear management in respectively the Netherlands and the USA, and will deal with how different actors (scientists, policymakers, wildlife managers and inhabitants of the study areas) interpret these animals and what the resulting consequences are for the boars and bears themselves. Multi-origin meat/non-meat lunch - The lunch has a central place in this seminar. It is centred around four different choices for lunch sandwiches: vegetarian; organic beef; (regular) chicken; and wild boar. Since the presentations deal with interpreting the human-animal relation in particular contexts, namely the slaughterhouse, nature conservation, and animal farming, the lunch represents these contexts in the shape of end-products. Your lunch choices make the relation between human and animals -and interpretations hereof- ever more vivid and concrete, and will be used to fuel the discussion later on. So please enjoy the menu, but be prepared to explain your choice. Presentation 2: Ir. Hanneke Nijland - Hanneke Nijland is a PhD candidate at the Communication Strategies Group. Hanneke researches the human - farm animal relation, by performing interpretive research in two European extremes: the Netherlands and Turkey. Her aim is scientific as well as practical: to use the insights from her research to create space for thought and dialogue. In her presentation, she will reflect on the methods used in her research to distinguish and contextualize patterns in the construction of (non-) acceptability of farming animals for food, and present several preliminary results. Screening movie: "In de huid van een dier", with directors Christoph Janzing and Stefan Sand - Wageningen University students Stefan Sand and Christoph Janzing made the movie 'In the skin of an animal (premiered Nov. 2011 at Movie-W Wageningen) as part of their Master thesis. The movie shows a hunter, a farmer and a nature conservationist and their perceptions about and dealing with the animals and justification of their killing. As the moviemakers explain, animals dont talk, nevertheless sometimes humans think they can tell if an animal suffers, feels well or is sad. They question whether we as humans can put ourselves in the position of an animal, or whether this is a human created illusion.

Program information:
Keynote speaker: Dr. Timothy Pachirat - Timothy Pachirat got his Ph.D. with distinction at Yale University and currently is Assistant Professor of Politics at the New School for Social Research in New York. His research interests include comparative politics, power and the sociology of domination and resistance, the political economy of dirty and dangerous work, and interpretive and ethnographic research methods. He recently published the book Every Twelve Seconds: Industrialized Slaughter and the Politics of Sight (2011). In this seminar he will deepen our understanding and give suggestions on how to interpret human-animal relations, tapping from his own experiences in doing interpretive (ethnographic) research. He will also contribute as a referent in the discussion of the presentations and will take part in the plenary discussion with the seminar participants. Host: Prof. dr. Dvora Yanow - Our host for the day is Dvora Yanow, Visiting Professor at the department of Communication Sciences of Wageningen University. Dvora is a policy and organizational ethnographer with a particular interest in the creation and communication of meaning, and is especially