Call for Papers

The International Conference "The Human in Relation to Animals: Myths – Stereotypes – Prejudices" is co-organized by the Laboratory for Animal Studies – Third Culture (LAS) at the Faculty of Letters of the University of Silesia (Katowice, Poland), the Institute of Eastern Slavic Studies and the Institute of Interdisciplinary and Cultural Studies of the University of Silesia.


The fourth edition of the biennial “Human and His / Her Others” conference is linked thematically to the first conference of the cycle, “The Human in Relation to Animals, Plants, and Machines,” which took place in 2013. This time the conference will focus exclusively on animals, and more specifically, on the complex human-animal relationship as viewed from diverse perspectives: cultural, ethical, philosophical, historical, religious, ethnographic and others, with a particular attention given to myths, stereotypes and prejudices concerning animals. The conference participants will be asked to reflect not only on the images of animals evolving through ages, but also on the origins of the convictions which have often led to and reinforced the so-called ethological fallacy (Jan Wawrzyniak), both in traditional and contemporary societies.


Opening a debate on the mythical-stereotypical-prejudicial ways of thinking about animals, the organizers hope to stimulate both the serious academic reflection of a more synthetic kind, which allows for a generalized deliberation on the above-mentioned categories, as well as more analytical considerations of theoretical and empirical nature concerning animals in their singularity. The papers and presentations are expected to deal with the changes in our views on animals that have been the effect of new research findings debunking old myths in the field of animal intelligence, empathy, altruism, the other creatures’ capacity for communication, their social “reason” and so on. In this context, it seems pertinent to extend the range of conference topics so as to include the notion of the Anthropocene as a period that, by demonstrating the huge significance of the interdependencies of all life forms on earth, requires us to deconstruct the idea of an interspecies relationship, including one between human and non-human animals.

The thematic conference cycle “Human and His / Her Others” has long attracted an interdisciplinary group of scholars from Poland and abroad, whose scholarly reflection revolves around a number of new disciplines constitutive of the so-called posthumanities (such as Human-Animal Studies, ecocriticism, environmental philosophy and ecoanthropology - see the website of the previous conference here). The publication of conference proceedings has contributed in important ways to the development of interdisciplinary studies of the relationship between human and nonhuman animals in Poland. Moreover, selected proceedings have also been published in the form of monographs, most specifically as consecutive annuals of Zoophilologica. Polish Journal of Animal Studies, available online - the only journal of this kind in Central-Eastern Europe.

We would like to invite presentations on the following areas of research (with the focus on myths, stereotypes and prejudices):

·        Traditional images of animals (in folk culture, myth, popular thinking, annual rites and folk customs, farming practices, religion and others)

·        Contemporary representations of animals in literature, film, fine arts, digital folklore (netlore), reportage, blog and others

·        The animal as the subject of research (in philosophy, ethics, history, psychology, ethnology, ethology, literary studies, linguistics, religious studies, law, social sciences, life sciences and earth sciences)

·        Contemporary practices involving animals (such as hunting)

·        Animal agency and subjectivity – changing paradigms

·        Animals in the Anthropocene – the age of the human and its relation to animals

The languages of the conference are English, Polish and Russian.

The proceedings of the conference are intended to be published. All articles will be peer-reviewed before publication.

Please send your paper proposal by filling in the included registration form and attaching an abstract of up to 1500 characters to by 15 July 2019 . The notification of the acceptance or rejection of the proposals will be sent by 31 July 2019.


The conference fee is 100 euro (or 400 Polish zlotys), to be paid by money transfer upon the notification of the acceptance of a proposal by 31 August 2019.

The conference fee covers conference materials, costs of the publication of the proceedings, a banquet and coffee breaks.

The participants need to cover the other expenses (transport and accommodation) on their own. All delegates will need to arrange their own accommodation since this will not be provided as part of the conference package.

If you have any queries, please send your message to

Deadlines and Documents




Registration of speakers - 30 June 2019

Registration of audience members - 15 August 2019

Conference fee payment - 31 August 2019


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