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Ruth Burke Accepted as Fellow at Animal & Society Institute

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Ruth Burke (Stamps MFA 2017) has been accepted as a fellow in the Inaugural Human-Animal Studies Institute, run by the Animals & Society Institute for summer 2017.

The Animals & Society Institute (“ASI”) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (“Illinois ”) will hold our first annual Human-Animal Studies Summer Institute program (“Institute” or HASSIP”) for advanced graduate students and early career scholars pursuing research in Human-Animal Studies (“HAS”). The theme of the inaugural institute will be: Animals Across the Disciplines.”

This interdisciplinary program follows up on the successful six-week summer fellowship program, started by the Animals & Society Institute in 2007. This new program is focused on graduate students and those in the first few years post-Ph.D., and will enable 20 – 25 participants to work on their dissertations or publications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign within the Center for Advanced Study, for one intensive week.

The Institute is designed to support participants’ individual research in human-animal studies as well as to promote interdisciplinary exchange. The program will offer a shared space of critical inquiry that brings the participants’ work-in-progress to the attention of a network of influential HAS scholars, and provides the participants with the guidance and feedback to develop their work. At the heart of the program are daily plenary lectures by distinguished speakers, followed by afternoon seminars devoted to discussion of participants’ work. These will be complemented by special workshops and field trips to on- and off-campus locations which highlight different aspects of the human-animal relationship. Participants will take part in a stimulating intellectual environment reflecting a diversity of approaches, projects, disciplinary backgrounds, and ethical positions on animal issues.

Burke applied with her thesis work, Ruminant, which explores what it means to have kinship with a cow. During the intensive, she will continue to work on her written thesis and organize an artist book that poetically narrates her experience of losing a bovine collaborator and finding new interspecies relationships in a small herd of dairy cows.

She has been a member of the Animals & Society Institute since 2016 and is a member of the Animal Studies Workgroup here on campus.