A new relationship with animals, nature and each other.

Speaker Bios

“I Am Not an Animal!”
The signature cry of our species

February 24 – 25, 2017
A symposium at the Emory Conference Center, Atlanta

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The big questions we face in the coming years, and how to relate to them.

Session Topics
Presentations, Q&A, and discussion.

Speaker Bios
Experts in the fields of psychology, ecology, philosophy, humanities, law and advocacy.

Why are we humans unable to come to grips with what we’re doing and change our behavior? How this symposium came to be.

Join us for this first-of-a-kind gathering.

Substantial discount available at the Emory Conference Center Hotel.

Video Backgrounders
1. How we tell ourselves we’re not really animals.
2. Why we insist we’re not really animals.
3. What Cave Paintings Tell Us
4. King Oedipus and the End of the World

Video Interviews:
What Zoos Tell Us About Ourselves with Randy Malamud, author of Reading Zoos.
Why It’s So Hard to Think Straight about Animals with Hal Herzog, author of Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat.
How Thinking about Death Makes Us More Supportive of Killing Other Animals with Uri Lifshin of Univ. or Arizona.

Carl Safina

Carl Safina’s writing about the living world has won him a MacArthur “genius” prize; Pew, and Guggenheim Fellowships; book awards from Lannan, Orion, and the National Academies; and the John Burroughs, James Beard, and George Rabb medals.

His seabird studies earned him a PhD in ecology from Rutgers University; and he then spent a decade working to ban high-seas drift nets and to overhaul U.S. fishing policy. Carl is now the first Endowed Professor for Nature and Humanity at Stony Brook University, where he co-chairs the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science and directs the nonprofit Safina Center.

He hosted the PBS series Saving the Ocean. His writing appears in The New York Times, TIME, Audubon, and on the Web at National Geographic News and Views, Huffington Post, CNN.com, and elsewhere. He is author of the classic book Song for the Blue Ocean. Carl’s seventh book is Beyond Words; What Animals Think and Feel.

He lives on Long Island, New York, with his wife Patricia and their dogs and feathered friends.

Lori Marino

Lori Marino is a neuroscientist and expert in animal behavior and intelligence, formerly on the faculty of Emory University. She is the Founder and Director of The Kimmela Center for Animal Advocacy, which focuses on bridging the gap between academic research and scholarship and on-the-ground animal advocacy efforts.

She is also co-Founder and President of The Whale Sanctuary Project, which is working to establish a model seaside sanctuary for whales and dolphins retired from captivity, where they can live in an environment that’s as close as possible to their natural habitat.

Lori is internationally known for her work on the evolution of the brain and intelligence in dolphins and whales. She has published over 100 empirical and review papers on dolphin and primate brain evolution and behavior, and human-nonhuman animal relationships, including the psychological and philosophical bases of animal exploitation.

Jonathan K. Crane

Jonathan K. Crane is the editor of Beastly Morality: Animals as Ethical Agents, the co-author of Ahimsa: The Way to Peace, co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Jewish Ethics and Morality, author of Narratives and Jewish Bioethics, and the founder and co-editor-in-chief of the Journal of Jewish Ethics.

A past president of The Society of Jewish Ethics, Jonathan speaks and publishes broadly on environmental and animal ethics, bioethics, comparative religious ethics, narrative ethics, among other topics. He is the Raymond F. Schinazi Scholar of Bioethics and Jewish Thought at Emory University’s Center for Ethics.

Jonathan earned a B.A. from Wheaton College in Massachusetts, an M.A. in international peace studies from the University of Notre Dame, an M.Phil. in Gandhian thought from Gujarat Vidyapith in India, an M.A. in Hebrew Literature and rabbinic ordination from Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion in New York, and a Ph.D. in religion from the University of Toronto.  He and his family reside in Atlanta.

sean-meighoo-220Sean Meighoo

Sean Meighoo, who will be leading the discussion following Jonathan Crane’s presentation, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Comparative Literature at Emory University.  His current research and teaching interests include: twentieth-century continental philosophy and literary theory; race and postcolonial theory; feminism and queer theory; animal studies and ecocriticism.

Sean’s most recent publications include:  The End of the West and Other Cautionary Tales  No Logos: Phenomenology, Animal Studies, and Logocentrism; Humanimalia; HumAnI(m)Morality, in Jonathan K. Crane (ed), “Beastly Morality: Animals as Ethical Agents”; “Suffering Humanism, or the Suffering Animal,” Journal for Critical Animal Studies 12, no. 3 .

Randy Malamud

In his book Reading Zoos: Representations of Animals and Captivity, Randy Malamud argues that zoos reinforce the idea that we humans are, by nature, an imperial species, and that our power and ingenuity entitle us to violate the natural order by tearing nonhuman animals from the fabric of their ecosystems and displaying them in an “order” of our own making.

Randy’s seven other books include Poetic Animals and Animal Souls, A Cultural History of Animals in the Modern Age, and An Introduction to Animals and Visual Culture.

He is the Regents’ Professor of English at Georgia State University, a fellow of the Oxford Centre for Animal Ethics, and a patron of the Captive Animals’ Protection Society.

colvin-headshot-200Christina Colvin

Christina M. Colvin will be leading the discussion that follows Randy Malamud’s presentation. Christina specializes in 20th and 21st-Century American literature, the environmental humanities, and animal studies.

Her current book project, The Disorder of Species: Animal Encounter in Anthropocene Literature, examines how literary texts expand, challenge and complement the abilities of the sciences to describe nonhuman animal complexity in the current and previous century.

Her peer-reviewed work appears in the Journal of Modern Literature, Evental Aesthetics, the International Journal of Comparative Psychology (co-authored with Lori Marino), and the edited collection Mourning Animals: Rituals and Practices Surrounding Animal Death.

Christina has taught courses in American literature and culture, environmental literature, modern and contemporary poetry, and multimodal composition. She is currently a Brittain Postdoctoral Fellow at the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Hal Herzog

Hal Herzog has been investigating the complex psychology of our interactions with other species for more than two decades. He is particularly interested in how people negotiate real-world ethical dilemmas, and he has studied animal activists, cockfighters, animal researchers, and circus animal trainers.

An award-winning teacher and researcher, Hal has written more than 100 articles and book chapters. His research has been published in journals such as Science, The American Psychologist, The Journal of the Royal Society, The American Scholar, New Scientist, Anthrozoös, BioScience, The Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association, and Animal Behavior.

His work has been covered by Newsweek, Slate, Salon, National Public Radio, Scientific American, USA Today, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, The Chicago Tribune and many other newspapers.  In 2013, he was given the Distinguished Scholar Award by the International Society for Anthrozoology.

Hal is Emeritus Professor of Psychology at Western Carolina University and lives in the Smoky Mountains with his wife Mary Jean and their cat Tilly.

drcpfreeman-200Carrie Freeman

Carrie P. Freeman, who will be leading the discussion after Hal Herzog’s presentation, is an Associate Professor of Communication at Georgia State University in Atlanta. She is a critical/cultural studies media researcher who has published in over 15 scholarly books and journals on strategic communication for activists, media ethics, environmental communication, and critical animal studies, with a specialty in animal agribusiness and veganism.

She is the author of a 2014 vegan advocacy book Framing Farming: Communication Strategies for Animal Rights, and co-edited the anthology Critical Animal & Media Studies: Communication for Nonhuman Animal Advocacy, and co-authored media style guidelines for respectful coverage of animals at animalsandmedia.org.

Carrie has been active in the animal rights and vegetarian movement since the mid 1990s, serving as a volunteer director for local grassroots groups in Florida, Georgia, and Oregon. She currently co-hosts an environmental radio program (In Tune to Nature, Tuesdays 6:30pm) and an animal rights program (Second Opinion Radio, Wednesdays 6pm) on Atlanta’s indie station WRFG (Radio Free Georgia).

Sheldon Solomon

Sheldon Solomon is co-author of the book The Worm at the Core: On the Role of Death in Life, in which he shows how our unconscious fear of death shapes our cultures, civilizations and belief systems, and drives almost everything we do.

A Professor of Social Psychology at Skidmore College in New York, he and fellow researchers have performed hundreds of experiments that show how the fear of death affects the way we think and act. His studies are featured in the award winning documentary film Flight from Death: The Quest for Immortality.

Sheldon is an American Psychological Society Fellow, and a recipient of an American Psychological Association Presidential Citation (2007), a Lifetime Career Award by the International Society for Self and Identity (2009), and the Association of Graduate Liberal Studies Programs Annual Faculty Award (2011).

Michael Mountain

Michael Mountain is one of the founders and the Past President of Best Friends Animal Society, which runs the nation’s largest sanctuary for abused and abandoned animals. In the 1990s, he helped launch the no-kill movement at a time when more than 15 million homeless pets were being killed in shelters every year. Today, that number is below 3 million a year.

But while the situation for dogs and cats has improved, the situation for other animals has only gotten worse, and Michael stepped down from Best Friends to explore the reasons why. This led him to Terror Management Theory and an understanding of how our fear of our own animal nature leads us to seek dominance over other kinds of animals.

Michael assists in the work of several animal protection groups, including The Whale Sanctuary Project and the Nonhuman Rights Project. He maintains a blog at www.earthintransition.org.

Steven M. Wise

Steven M. Wise is President of the Nonhuman Rights Project, which gained worldwide attention in 2013 when it filed the first-ever lawsuits on behalf of nonhuman animals (in this case captive chimpanzees), arguing that as cognitively complex, autonomous beings, they should be recognized as “legal persons” with the fundamental right to bodily liberty.

His work is the subject of the movie Unlocking the Cage, by Oscar-winner D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus, which premiered at the 2016 Sundance Festival.

Steve holds a J.D. from Boston University Law School and a B.S. in chemistry from the College of William and Mary. He has practiced animal protection law for 30 years throughout the United States and is admitted to the Massachusetts Bar. He teaches “Animal Rights Jurisprudence” at the Vermont, Lewis and Clark, University of Miami, and St. Thomas Law Schools, and has taught “Animal Rights Law” at the Harvard Law School and John Marshall Law School.

He is also the author of four books about legal rights, two of which are about legal rights for nonhuman animals: Rattling the Cage – Toward Legal Rights for Animals, and Drawing the Line – Science and the Case for Animal Rights.

andrew-fenton-200Andrew Fenton

Andrew Fenton will be leading the discussion that follows Lori Marino’s presentation. Andrew’s research interests include animal ethics, the philosophy of animal cognition and behavior, and the philosophy of autism.

He is an assistant professor in the Departments of Philosophy at Dalhousie University and California State University – Fresno.

To date, Andrew’s work in animal ethics has focused on laboratory research but he is now turning his attention to animal agriculture.

He has authored or co-authored papers that have appeared in such journals as Biology and Philosophy, Cambridge Quarterly of Healthcare Ethics, Developing World Bioethics, Journal of Animal Ethics, Journal for the Theory of Social Behavior, and The Monist. He has authored or co-authored chapters in such books as The Philosophy of Autism and Philosophy of Behavioral Biology.

Next: Background and how this symposium came to be.