Personhood, Thalia Field, 24 June 2021 (Env Hum at LARCA, U. Paris)

Dear colleagues,

For its final session of the year, the Environmental Humanities seminar at LARCA is pleased to host Thalia Field, who will be visiting professor at LARCA in autumn 2021.

Come and join us on June 24th at 5pm (CEST) for a conversation with Thalia Fieldand a presentation of her new collection of stories, Personhood.
The discussion will be led by Abigail Lang (LARCA, Université de Paris) and Emma Thiébaut (Université de Paris).

Whether investigating refugee parrots, indentured elephants, the pathetic fallacy, or the revolving absurdity of the human role in the “invasive species crisis,” Personhood reveals how the unmistakable problem between humans and our nonhuman relatives is too often the derangement of our narratives and the resulting lack of situational awareness. Building on her previous collection, Bird Lovers, Backyard, Thalia Field’s essayistic investigations invite us on a humorous, heartbroken journey into how people attempt to control the fragile complexities of a shared planet. The lived experiences of animals, and other historical actors, provide unique literary-ecological responses to the exigencies of injustice and to our delusions of special status.
Personhood is Thalia Field‘s fourth collection with New Directions Press and follows Bird Lovers, Backyard as an exploration of animal-human relations in narrative and language. Inquiry into our shared animal history also drives her novel Experimental Animals: A Reality Fiction (Solid Objects) about the origins of animal experimentation in 19th century Paris, and the activists who tried to stop it. Her two previous collections of stories, Point and Line and Incarnate : Story Material (New Directions) explore the limits of selves and genres. Operatic in scope, ULULU (Clown Shrapnel) (Coffee House Press) is a performance novel and a lyrical cultural biography of the archetypal seductress Lulu. Other books include Leave to Remain: Legends of Janus (Dalkey Archive) and A Prank of Georges (Essay Press), written in collaborations with French writer and translator Abigail Lang. Thalia Field is the Adele Kellenberg Seaver Professor of Creative Writing at Brown University, where she mostly engages students in radically interdisciplinary approaches to artistic and creative social practice.

Abigail Lang is Associate Professor at Université de Paris (LARCA), and the editor of the French translation of Bird Lovers, Backyard: L’amateur d’oiseaux, côté jardin, (Presses du réel).

Emma Thiébaut is a student at Université de Paris and is currently writing her Master’s thesis (M2) on the ethics of animal representation inWilliam Kotzwinkle’s Doctor Rat (1976), Ursula Le Guin’s “Shrödinger’s Cat” (1987) and Thalia Field’s Experimental Animals (2016).

You can read “Happy/That you have the body (The Mirror Test)” on the Non Human Rights Project blog and learn more about their client Happy here.

More information

All very welcome.

With best wishes,

Abigail Lang and Laura Ouillon for the Environmental Humanities team at LARCA