Prof. Alice J. Hovorka (U of Guelph) to Present "Feminism & Animals: Exploring Interspecies Relations in Botswana and Beyond"

3:30 to 4:30 p.m., March 7, 2014

The 8th Annual Janice Monk
Distinguished Professor Lecture

"Feminism & Animals: Exploring Interspecies Relations in Botswana and Beyond"

Presented by

Dr. Alice J. Hovorka

Department of Geography

University of Guelph, Canada

Alice J. Hovorka is an Associate Professor of Geography at the University of Guelph in Canada. Her research focuses on contemporary human-environment relations in Southern Africa, a region where lives, circumstances and landscapes have undergone rapid transformation within the past generation. Specifically, she explores issues related to environment and development with past projects highlighting gender and current work investigating the lives of animals and species relations of power in Botswana. 


Friday, March 7, 2014, 3:30 p.m.
Integrated Learning Center, Room 130
Light Reception to Follow


The linkages between feminism and animals enhance understanding and explanation of

human-environment relations and offer potential avenues for addressing complex societal

problems. My aims for this paper are three-fold. First, I wish to emphasize the significance

of feminism as a robust and multifaceted route to the production and application

of geographical knowledge. Second, I wish to recognize the ways in which animals are

part of our daily practice and thus deserve prominence in our scholarship. Third, I wish

to illuminate, through a feminist more-than-human geography, how interspecies relations

necessarily shape lives, networks, structures, and relations of power. I begin by highlighting

the small yet engaging literature of feminist animal studies. This scholarship illuminates

the often shared and marginalized positionality of women and animals generated

through processes of othering. I illustrate how such connections manifest themselves in

the realm of gender, livestock and development research and practice. I continue by

applying feminism beyond its often gender-based applications. Specifically, I extend feminist

theoretical concepts (in particular intersectionality, embodiment, and difference),

methodological approaches (related to everyday life, empathetic understanding, and positionality),

and ethical perspectives (focused on addressing inequalities and enhancing

quality of life) to non-gender realms that explore animal geographies. I argue that feminism

offers avenues towards a more-than-human geography that acknowledges and investigates

animal circumstances, treatment and experiences, and ultimately provides

new insights on human values and social dynamics. I illustrate this feminist more-thanhuman

geography through my current research on the lives of animals in Botswana.


Sponsored by 

School of Geography and Development

Institute of the Environment

Department of Gender and Women's Studies

Africana Studies Program

Southwest Institute for Research on Women

Center for Critical Studies of the Body

Bureau of Applied Research in Anthroplogy