Kritika Kultura, the international refereed journal of language, literary, and cultural studies of the Department of English, Ateneo de Manila University will be hosting a lecture by Diana Villanueva-Romero titled “From Animals To Literature and Back: An Introduction to Literary Animal Studies (LAS).” The lecture—which is co-sponsored by the Department of Biology and the Department of Environmental Science—will be on Jan. 9, 2015, 4:30 p.m. to 6:00 p.m., Social Science Conference Rooms 3/4, Ateneo de Manila University.
Villanueva-Romero’s abstract reads, “Mapping literary animal studies means taking into account the diverse terminology used when referring to it, pondering on its interdisciplinary nature, and considering the different forms which the human-animal relationship can adopt. LAS was born as one of the results of what Kari Weil calls the ‘animal turn.’ It can be described as one of the last stages in a movement towards the inclusion of voices for a long time silenced: the voice of women, peoples of color, that of gays and the disabled. As such it is nourished by and also nourishes movements such as animal ecofeminism and postcolonial ecocriticism. It actually can be interpreted, as critic Cary Wolfe defends, as a redefinition of the humanities which can no longer be understood as the exclusive realm of the human animal but that of the animal by and large.
“This talk aims at being an introduction to the booming field of literary animal studies (LAS). Taking into consideration animal activism and how it has affected the study of literature since the 1980s, this talk intends to shed some light on this multifarious field by reflecting on some of its recent manifestations.”
Diana Villanueva-Romero is a lecturer of English language and literature in the English Department at the University of Extremadura, Cáceres (Spain). She is one of the pioneer voices of ecocriticism in Spain as well as a founding member of the first Spanish research group on ecocriticism, GIECO, at the University of Alcalá. She is currently working on several projects that focus on the intersections and crosspollination between literature and philosophy (Contemporary Primate Literature in English: Voicing the Unvoiced; Animal Literary Studies: Between Poetry and Philosophy; and Jane Eyre through the Lens of Animality), postcolonial literatures in English (Nature at a Crossroad: Literature and Environment in the Philippines), as well as a translation into Spanish of Alexander Pope’s The Rape of the Lock. She also serves as managing editor of Ecozon@: European Journal of Literature, Culture and Environment and is on the advisory board of the European Association for the Study of Literature, Culture, and Environment (EASLCE).