Taija Kaarlenkaski
University of Eastern Finland
taija.kaarlenkaski (at) uef.fi

Annika Lonkila
University of Eastern Finland
annika.lonkila (at) uef.fi

 

Description:

In science and technology studies, technologies are seen to emerge and take shape in more-than-human assemblages, co-producing and co-produced by those that interact with them (Holloway et al. 2014). The entanglements of other animals and technologies have particularly interested post-disciplinary STS scholars in recent years, especially in relation to the experimental biotechnological context and livestock farming. For example, non-human animals used in food production participate in the coproduction of a wide array of technological apparatuses, ranging from reproduction and breeding to on-farm care practices. In addition, increasing amounts of technological artefacts for companion animals are also available, and assistance animals, such as diabetes alert dogs, have been included in the design of new technologies to help humans more effectively (Robinson et al. 2014). Studies on mutant mice (Davies 2013), cloned animals (Franklin 2007) laboratory animals (Giraud & Hollin 2016) and biosecurity, as well as cattle and automated milking systems (Holloway et al. 2014; Driessen & Heutinck 2015; Calvert 2018) have highlighted non-human agency and the hybridity of lively technological beings, and their constant new becomings. These more-than-human configurations also carry various ethical and political consequences that need addressing.

In this session, we would like to discuss the entanglements of non-human animals and technologies. How have technologies shaped animals and how have animals shaped technologies? How do animals and technologies interact? How do more-than-human technologies take shape in various multispecies spaces? What kind of agencies are formed in these relationships? What are the ethics of such configurations? We welcome research papers that deal with these issues in contemporary as well as historical settings, covering wide range of disciplines, such as human-animal studies, cultural studies, social sciences, STS, and ethology.