Don Kulick Lecture

9 March 2020
Fox Lecture Hall, Arts Building, UWA
General Public, Faculty/Staff, Students, Alumni

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When Animals Talk Back. Perspectives on human-animal communication.

A public lecture by Don Kulick, Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology, Uppsala University, Sweden and 2020 UWA Institute of Advanced Studies Visiting Fellow.

The past two decades have seen a seismic shift in our understanding of what animals are, what they perceive and think, and what they are capable of. Biologists and ethologists who study animal behaviour have made vital contributions to this shift. However, a significant quantity of writing about animals comes from philosophers, humanities and social science scholars, as well as those working in professional sectors, including freelance animal trainers and behaviourists. What is behind this outpouring of interest in animals? And now that animals seem to have our collective ear, what exactly are they saying?

Don Kulick is Distinguished University Professor of Anthropology at Uppsala University, Sweden, where he directs the Engaging Vulnerability research program. He has published widely on sociolinguistics, gender and sexuality studies, disability studies, queer theory and animal studies. His most recent books are A Grammar and Dictionary of Tayap: the life and death of a Papuan language (with Angela Terrill, Mouton de Gruyter), and A Death in the Rainforest: how a language and a way of life came to an end in Papua New Guinea (Algonquin Books), both from last year.