'Humanity Dick!' Conference June 8-9 June 2023: Call for papers

Noel Kavanagh's picture
Call for Papers
May 1, 2023
Ireland {Republic}
Subject Fields: 
Animal Studies, British History / Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Humanities, Intellectual History


‘Humanity Dick’ - A conference in honour of Richard Martin: The evolution of the animal-human relationship in European thought during the 18th, 19th and 20thcenturies.

Call for Papers

Carlow College, St Patrick’s invites papers and panel proposals from a range of disciplinary perspectives on the theme of animal rights and welfare and the human-animal relationship, particularly in 18th, 19th  and 20th century discourse. Richard Martin (1754-1834), a politician and animal rights campaigner, was a founding member of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and was instrumental in the passing of the Cruel Treatment of Cattle Act, 1822, legislation aimed at protecting the treatment of cattle.

This conference celebrates Martin’s contribution and builds on his legacy by exploring the development and evolution of thought on the question of the human-animal relationship through an interdisciplinary lens.  All facets of the intersections between the animal and human interaction are eligible for investigation. Topics may include but are not limited to:

  • Philosophical interpretations of the animal-human relationship
  • The representation of the animal rights and welfare in literature
  • The historical evolution of animal rights and the contributions of social reformers in this area
  • The contemporary importance of animal welfare in modern society
  • The social relevance of animal rights in philosophical, literary, historical and/or theological perspectives
  • The psychological impact of the animal-human relationship
  • Social and anthropological interpretations of the animal-human dynamic


Proposals comprising a 250-word abstract and brief biographical note should be sent to the conference conveners, Dr Noel Kavanagh (nkavanagh@carlowcollege.ie) and Dr Regina Donlon (rdonlon@carlowcollege.ie) on or before 7 April 2023. Proposal from early career researchers are particularly welcome. Final papers should be no longer than twenty minutes in length. This two-day conference will take place on Thursday and Friday, 8 & 9 June 2023. For more information please contact the conference conveners.