From August 2022 to August 2023, ICOG will be joined by visiting research fellow Pete Porter. Dr Porter is a Professor of Film in the Department of Fine and Performing Arts, where he also serves as Chair, at Eastern Washington University.
He specializes in nonhuman animal representation in film and media, cognitive-analytical film theory, Menippean satire in film, film festival studies, and animation studies. His dissertation From Menippus to the Movies (2003) was one of the first scholarly works to take The Big Lebowski (1998) seriously. He currently serves as Film Review Editor for Society & Animals, an international journal of Human-Animal Studies and. He also does applied research as President of the Contemporary Arts Alliance, which oversees the Spokane International Film Festival, where he is a programmer and outgoing Director. Recent years have been spent in administrative roles. From 2017-2021, Porter served as Interim Dean and co-Dean of the College of Arts, Letters, and Education. In 2021, Porter became the inaugural Chair of Fine and Performing Arts, a new department combining programs in Art, Film, Music, and Theatre.
His publications include articles and film reviews in Society and Animals, The Journal of Moving Image Studies, and The Michigan Academician, as well as invited chapters in Lebowski 101 and Teaching the Animal: Human-Animal Studies across the Disciplines. His presentation “Against Anthropocentrism: The Menippean Animal” was awarded Best Presentation at Minding Animals 4, an international conference in Animal Studies, and merged his two central research areas of animals in media and Menippean satire.
During his fellowship at ICOG, Dr Porter will finish the book Moving Animals: from Marching Penguins to Octopus Teachers, which adopts a cognitive-affective lens to describe how films express animal perspectives. The book will show how recent films invented strategies for representing ethical and aesthetic matters of concern for both humans and nonhumans. As we ponder how to achieve sustainability, we must move beyond instrumentalist and anthropocentric conceptions of others, both human and nonhuman, in order to achieve a more just, equitable, and biodiverse world.
While in Groningen, Dr Porter will work closely with colleagues from the Centre for Arts in Society.
ICOG welcomes applications for visiting research fellowships from academics working in the fields of its five research centres. The duration of visits usually varies from a month to half a year. During this time, visiting research fellows are expected to work on their own research projects (ideally in collaboration with a scholar or an academic team from ICOG) and to participate in the events organised by ICOG.
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