ANIMAL / PRIVACY: Historical and Conceptual Approaches

Natacha Klein Käfer's picture
Call for Papers
November 9, 2021
United Kingdom
Subject Fields: 
Animal Studies, Cultural History / Studies, Early Modern History and Period Studies, History of Science, Medicine, and Technology, Rural History / Studies

The Centre for Privacy Studies (University of Copenhagen) and the Kent Animal Humanities Network (University of Kent, UK) are planning an online workshop in November 2021, exploring the intersections between Privacy Studies and Animal Studies. We would like to invite you to submit a proposal (250-300 words) for a 20-minutes paper to contribute to the workshop.

The critical debates surrounding privacy have been predominantly human-centred, privacy being usually understood as something we humans protect from other humans. Our understanding of privacy as a human right stems from the belief that it is part of our nature to establish barriers – physical, normative, or behavioural – between the individual and the collective. We thus tend to disregard the roles which other animals play in shaping our sense and space of privacy (for instance, as family pets). Likewise, we do not take seriously the idea of nonhuman animals’ entitlement or ‘right’ to their privacy, or consider what forms nonhuman ‘privacy’ might take. This is despite the fact that our continuing encroachment into their spheres of life is endangering and dismantling the lives of other species. 

What new insights can we gain if we take non-human animals into account while exploring notions of privacy? This workshop aims to explore how human-animal relationships historically affected how we understand, conceptualise, and act upon privacy, while also exploring how the concepts of privacy shed new light on other species and our relationships with them. We welcome papers from all historical periods and geographical regions, as well as across a wide range of fields (humanities, social sciences, sciences), to foster cross-disciplinary approaches to the topic. Themes of interest include (but are not limited to):

  • Animal behaviour and privacy
  • Pet-keeping and zones of privacy
  • Animal mobility between public and private spaces
  • Animals and experimental knowledge;
  • Animals and violence – the right to privacy in relation to other rights
  • Privacy and the history of zoological studies
  • Animals and sensorial experiences
  • Animals and sexuality
  • Privacy and hunting
  • Privacy, Ecology and Multispecies Environments
  • Theoretical Directions in Privacy and Human-Animal Studies
  • Animals as Property: Privatization and Privacy
  • Privacy, Publicity and the Betting Culture of Horse-Racing
  • Privacy and animal literature
  • Animals and places of isolation (prisons, nature reserves, ships, lockdown, etc)
  • Animals and the Covid crisis


PLEASE SEND YOUR ABSTRACT (250-300 words) AND SHORT CV (2 pages max.) TO:

Dr. Natacha Klein Käfer ( ) and Dr. Kaori Nagai (

For more information, visit: