Având un profil multidisciplinar, Institutul „Gh. Zane”, al Academiei Române, Filiala Iași desfășoară cercetări fundamentale și aplicate în domeniul științelor economice și al științelor sociale și umaniste.
We would like to invite you to take part in the Fourth Edition of the Anthrozoology Symposium Animal Life and Human Culture, organized by “Gh. Zane” Institute of Economic and Social Research (Romanian Academy, Iași Branch), in association with the Faculty of Biology (“Al. I. Cuza” University of Iași), Faculty of Psychology and Educational Sciences (“Babeș – Bolyai” University of Cluj), Faculty of Veterinarian Medicine (“Ion Ionescu de la Brad” University for Agricultural Studies and Veterinarian Medicine of Iași), Rural Development Research Platform, and Moldavia’s History Museum (“Moldova” National Museum Complex).
We live in a multispecies world, in a beautifully-balanced mix of communities which we have taken for granted far too often and for too long. We have overlooked or simply failed to notice the key roles played by other animals in the large community of life, and this has heavily impacted not only our environment, but our way of thinking too. To surpass this difficulty, we must employ our best efforts and step out of our human-centred history. If we are to thrive in a multispecies universe, we should first learn how to be citizens living in harmony with our fellow animals in this shared home.
All these pressures and demands make anthrozoology a more challenging discipline than others. Realistic descriptions of animal issues require a broader look, an open mind and acknowledgement of the limitations imposed by single-discipline approaches. Many scientists, such as Jane Goodall, Mark Bekoff, Frans de Waal, or Barbara Smuts have pioneered ways of listening to the animals and understanding their individuality and social realities. Yet science alone can only take us so far at present — we understand and acknowledge the fact that we barely know animal realities. Therefore, we are in dire need of philosophy, psychology, history, poetry, arts to realize that our understanding limitations are no excuse for turning away from these mysterious Others.
Today we can clearly see the limitations and dangers of the overwhelmingly anthropocentric traditions, and science is no stranger to them. As the way we understand, make and use science is influenced by culture and tradition, we should try to broaden our views. Thus, one of the most challenging parts of anthrozoology is acknowledging our human limitations about how much we can learn about other animals’ lives. We can look for guidance in the wisdom of different archaic and indigenous cultures about living beings other than our species. Anthrozoology is trying to bridge the distance between different disciplines, find the complementary work in social sciences, natural sciences, humanities, arts, and also question the compartmentalization and separation into categories of thought / science / discipline in hope of reaching a more holistic view of life where non-humans have their rightful place and indispensable role in this world dominated by humans.
This year’s edition of the symposium is addressing the following subject: how is it possible to bring together the two estranged megafields of study, humanities and sciences, and thus, get a fuller, more appropriate understanding of this world (nature and the other animals) and ourselves included (along with our societies and cultures).
Within the Anthrozoology Symposium we would like to invite you to take part in a debate forum focused on the following topics concerning the human-animal interactions:
• Ideas, concepts, and beliefs about animals;
• Theories about the differences and distance between humans and animals;
• Animal rights and human responsibilities;
• Species extinction and human responsibility;
• Animals in literature, mythology, art, and folklore;
• Animal psychology;
• Cognitive ethology;
• Mental models and economic value in human-animal interactions from a historic perspective;
• Animal protection movement and the laws supporting it;
The Anthrozoology Symposium will take place at the Institute of Economic and Social Research (Iași, Romania), on the 5th and 6th of November 2021. The registration is open until May 15, 2021. The registration form can be found on our website https://anthrozoology.acadiasi.org/.
On behalf of the organizing committee,
Dr. Irina Frasin