Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences

Oxford Brookes Symposium on the Exceptional Human Animal

Monday, 30 September 2013


Researchers gathered on Friday 6thSeptember 2013 at an Oxford Brookes University symposium entitled The Exceptional Animal, organised by Dr Tom Tyler, Senior Lecturer in Philosophy and Culture. The objective of the symposium was to examine the question of so-called “human exceptionalism,” and the challenges posed to the notion of human supremacy by the interdisciplinary field of animal studies.

Tom Tyler situated the idea of human exceptionalism within an historical framework ofenduring varieties of anthropocentricthinking. Dr Robert McKay of the University of Sheffield examined the gothic, creaturely ethics of Michel Faber’s unnerving novel Under the Skin Dr Anat Pick of Queen Mary, University of London, looked at the complex interrelations between biological science, cinematic technology and animals in early film. And Dr Alastair Hunt of Portland State University discussed the political status of the legal category of the person, particularly in the work of Hannah Arendt.