Writer and academic Dr Danielle Sands discusses contemporary responses to non–human life and cross–species relations, bridging disciplines such as Animal Studies, Environmental Ethics and the Anthropocene.
Sands is particularly interested in generating dialogues between philosophical aesthetics, critical theory and literary studies. Her research questions the depictions of animals in the literature of writers including J.M Coetzee, Franz Kafka, Karen Joy Fowler and Yann Martel as well as the theoretical work of Jacques Derrida and Donna Haraway. From bioethics and animal welfare through to artificial intelligence, Sands challenges conceptions of the ‘human.’
Sands’ talk will offer complementary contexts for viewing Lin May Saeed’s exhibition Biene at Studio Voltaire, which likewise addresses human–animal relationships in literature, mythology and the sciences. Saeed’s exhibition directly confronts our conflicted relationships with animals – who are at times characterised as companions, votives, an exploited labour force or food source – and by extension, our impact on and interactions with the environment.
Dr Danielle Sands is Lecturer in Comparative Literature and Thought at Royal Holloway, University of London. In 2018, Sands received a British Academy Rising Star Engagement Award for the project ‘Posthumanities: Redefining Humanities for the Fourth Industrial Age’, and she is currently leading the TECHNE Conflux ‘How Like a Leaf: Art, Nature, World’ (2018-20). Sands’ first monograph, ‘Animals, Plants, Things: Nonhuman Storytelling between Philosophy and Literature’ is forthcoming with Edinburgh University Press.