Conference to consider violence towards people and animals

A conference at the University of Windsor next week will examine issues relevant to animals and humans alike.

The Animal and Interpersonal Abuse Research Group will host “Animals and Us: Research, Policy, and Practice,” October 11 to 13 in the CAW Student Centre’s Alumni Auditorium. Organizers hope to facilitate transdisciplinary and interdisciplinary dialogue among researchers, scholars, activists, artists, practitioners, students, and community members. Attendance is free and open to the public.

A pre-conference institute on Thursday, October 11, will focus on the intersection of violence against women and animal abuse in the context of domestic violence.

Frank Ascione, professor of social work at the University of Denver and executive director of its Institute for Human-Animal Connection, will deliver a keynote address on approaches to the co-occurrence of violence against women and animals in practice settings.

Jaki MacKinnon, executive director of Bethseda House in Clarington, Ontario — one of the few Canadian shelters that provides co-housing for abused women and pets — will discuss practical strategies for the design and implementation of co-sheltering programs.

Three additional keynote speakers will present through the rest of the conference:

  • Law professor David Favre of Michigan State University will talk about his scholarship in the field of animal law;
  • Charu Chandrasekera, founder of the Canadian Centre for Alternatives to Animal Medicine, will discuss its work as Canada’s first research centre dedicated to cultivating non-animal based research methods in bio-medical sciences; and
  • David Nibert, sociology professor at Wittenberg University in Springfield, Ohio, will address his work on the intersecting oppressions of speciesism, capitalism, and racism.

Additionally, more than 60 researchers, scholars, and practitioners will present their research findings and experiences.

Admission to the conference is free but requires advance registration. Find a full agenda as well as online registration forms on the conference website.

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