Sociology of Law Research Seminars: Animals, Women and the Politics of Rights. The History of the Contemporary Animal Rights Movement
Marie Leth-Espensen, PhD candidate at Sociology of Law Department at Lund University
How can the role of women in animal advocacy be understood from a socio-legal perspective, and what characterizes the ideas, critiques, and practices put forward by the women of the movement over time?
This Ph.D.-project is a study of the role of women and feminist theories and practices in the history of the contemporary animal rights movement. The research deals with the development in a European and North American context and focusses on three particular periods. It begins with women’s role in the formation of the animal protection and anti-vivisection societies during the 19th century – a period which is usually considered to mark the beginning of the contemporary animal rights movement (Garner 1996, Gaarder 2011). Then, it fast forward to the 1980s and 90s when a network of ecofeminist scholars and activists started to organize against environmental degradation and the oppression of women and animals (Gaarder 2011). Last, it takes examples from current projects and organizations in order to explore how feminist theories and practices continue to inspire animal advocacy.