How can you be fond of thousands of anything? Animals (especially sheep) and the history of New Zealand emotions

Associate Professor Philip Armstrong (English)

‘Is it not animal emotions that make our feelings intelligible?’ asks Alphonso Lingis. Certainly, the study of human-animal relationships cannot be undertaken without attentiveness of questions of affect, but there are also many areas in the history of human emotions – more than might appear at first glance – that turn out to be intensely affected by concepts of animality, by assumptions about differences between humans and animals, or by actual animals themselves. These relationships have only recently begun to be investigated in both historical and contemporary Aotearoa New Zealand. In this paper I will try to draw out some of the discoveries and conundrums emerging from such investigations. My examples will mostly relate to that most ubiquitous, symbolically over-determined, and yet trivialised of all New Zealand animals: Ovis aries, the domestic sheep. Read more…

  • Date: Wednesday 30 September 2015, 02:00PM to 30 September 2015, 03:00PM
  • Location: Room 612, Karl Popper building, Ilam Campus