Scholars Convene at Minding Animals Conference
An Animal Rights Article from


Animals and Society Institute (ASI)
February 2015

Ken Shapiro, president of the ASI board,* organized a January 15 forum titled "State and Future of the Field" at the third Minding Animals conference, held in Delhi's Jawaharlal Nehru University.

The plenary session was attended by about 150 people. Participants in the forum's panel were chosen to represent different perspectives in our amazingly quickly developing field: Lori Gruen (Feminist Studies), Colin Salter (Critical Animal Studies, Australia), Joe Lancia (Anthrozoology), Donald Broom (Animal Welfare Science, United Kingdom), Sandra Swart (Cultural Studies, South Africa) and Ken (Human-Animal Studies).

Through brief statements by each panelist and Q&A both within the panel and with the audience, the participants discussed issues relating to the scope and definition of the field, its history and possible future trajectories, internal and external obstacles to its growth, limitations and advantages of its inherent interdisciplinarity, its place in the university (departmental affiliation or free-standing) and its relation to the animal protection movement and advocacy.

* ASI co-founder Kim Stallwood reports: "The Third Minding Animals International conference in India was very successful in bringing together more than 250 delegates from 34 countries. As the conference's volunteer executive director, I made the closing remarks at the Pre-Conference Interfaith Program and Multi-Faith Prayer Service at Baha'i House of Worship, Lotus Temple, which includes representatives from the Hindu, Christian, Islam, Jain and Baha'i faiths who spoke about how to respect animals. It was also my privilege to chair the plenary session with Will Kymlicka, co-author of Zoopolis, and explore the idea of citizenship for animals. I also presented my paper about Topsy, the 'elephant we must never forget.' Among the many highlights was hearing a talk by the legendary Maneka Gandhi, India's Minister of Women and Child Development, who criticized the Indian government for not doing enough for animals."

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