Study Day 2020b

Feminist Canine Ethnography: Unraveling human-dog relationships from a gender perspective

On January 17, 2020, a workshop on Feminst Canine Ethnography took place at the University of Amsterdam. It was organised by LOVA members Irene Arends and Reinhilde Sotiria König and consisted of three panel-sessions with a total of ten paper presentations in the morning hours and a workshop followed by a keynote lecture in the afternoon. About forty people attended and a report was published in LOVA Journal 41 of December 2020.

Call for papers

17 January 2020, CEDLA (Roetersstraat 33, Amsterdam)

Dogs play important and unique roles in the lives of humans, and vice versa. These intimate human-canine bonds date back centuries and are dynamic through time and place. Fascinated by the contemporary phenomenon of dogs as family members in our own intimate circle and interested in the wider discourse of culturenatures or naturecultures (Haraway, 2003), the idea of this workshop arose. By making ‘feminist canine ethnography’ the focus of exploration, this workshop – organized by Reinhilde König (Ruhr-Universität Bochum) and Irene Arends (CEDLA, Universiteit van Amsterdam) – departs from the question how gender notions both reflect and shape the ways humans perceive and engage with dogs.

‘Human-animal studies’ and ‘gender studies’ are both well-established fields of scholarship. With this workshop, we aim to bring to the fore the resonances that these two bodies of work have regarding canine-human relationships. Eco-Feminists have already pointed at the universal exploitation of wo/men, nature and non- human animals. And scholars focusing on the classification of species, argue that mechanisms of exclusion and power politics – that are all too familiar to race and gender scholars – are also deeply rooted in the hierarchical relations between human and non- human animals (Meijer, 2017). We believe therefore that it is important to look at the intersectionality of speciesism with gender and invite everyone who is interested in exploring this topic with us.

In this call for presentations we seek submissions on the topic of canine ethnography. We encourage submissions that theorize human- dog relationships from a gender and feminist perspective, and embrace experimental presentations in all forms, theoretical as well as practical. The workshop is structured by roundtable sessions and topics might include (but are not limited to): Companion- and kinship; symbolism and social status; pet- and adoption culture; dog rights and activism; death and dying; funny dogs and social media representations; dog labor and learning; research with dogs; language and discourse regarding dog-human relationships.

We are very happy to announce our keynote speaker Eva Meijer, (animal) philosopher, artist, and author of several books, including: De soldaat was een dolfijn (2017) and De grenzen van mijn taal (2019).

Deadline for abstract submissions (250 words): 1 November 2019. Notifications will be sent on 5 November 2019. Please indicate what form of presentation you prefer.

Visitor/auditor registration is required and free of charge. The fee for the (vegan) lunch is €10.

Please register by sending your e-mail to: and

We encourage local and environmental friendly modes of travel and please contact us if we need to provide for dog shelter. If you have any questions feel free to write us.