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AiS - Art, Medium, and Moving Images - Research Colloquium - Peter Porter: 'Moving Animals: Engaging Nonhumans in Screen Stories'

When:Tu 29-05-2018 18:00 - 20:00
Where:Marie Lokezaal, Harmonie Complex


to the lecture Moving Animals: Engaging Nonhumans in Screen Stories

by Dr Peter Porter, Chair and Professor of Theatre and Film at Eastern Washington University

May 29, 6-8 pm, Marie Lokezaal, Harmonie Building

Abstract: Moving Animals

In Moving Animals: Engaging Nonhumans in Screen Stories, Prof. Dr Peter Porter will explore how moving image media teach us to engage animals. Our experience of animals at the movies can be a powerful one, shaping our understanding of how other species make their ways in the world. Who learned to fear sharks from Jaws (1975) or to marvel at dolphins from Flipper (1964-1967)? Who doesn’t see pigs and barnyard life with new eyes after watching Babe (1992) or Charlotte’s Web (1973)? What child (or adult even) isn’t thrilled by the idea that science might resurrect dinosaurs to create a Jurassic Park (1993) especially if the T-Rex is among them? Who doesn’t feel unnerved by the suggestion in Rise of the Planet of the Apes (2011) that humans are not so different from other primates?

Moving Animals analyses how recent screen stories, such as Okja (2017), Kedi (2016), and Blackfish (2013) constitute Animal Expressionism, a filmmaking approach that disrupts entrenched story formulas and reflects emerging paradigms to frame animal existence in more complete, less anthropomorphic, ways. Such case studies animate Moving Animals, which explores how the structures and stories of movies shape how we engage animals in everyday life.

Peter Porter

Peter Porter is Visiting Scholar at University of Amsterdam and Chair and Professor of Theatre and Film at Eastern Washington University. He also serves as Film Review Editor for Society & Animals. He is currently working on the manuscript Moving Animals: Engaging Nonhumans in Screen Stories, which explores how motion pictures of the 21st century are fulfilling their promise of affording more inclusive understandings of nonhuman nature. “Against Anthropomorphism: Menippean Animals” was awarded Best Presentation at Minding Animals 4, an international animal studies conference. His publications include “Engaging the Animal in the Moving Image” in Society & Animals, “Teaching Animal Movies” in Teaching the Animal: Human-Animal Studies across the Disciplines, and “It’s a Complicated Case: on the Modest Menippeanism of The Big Lebowski” in Lebowski 101.

The research colloquium and Professor Porters guest lecture are hosted by the Theme Group Art, Medium, and Moving Images, of the Research Centre for Arts in Society.