Tracking the Animal(s): an Interdisciplinary Conference

Trinity Conference to Focus on Animal Studies and Animal Rights from Various Philosophical, Literary, and Scientific Perspectives

Trinity will host “Tracking the Animal(s): an Interdisciplinary Conference,” featuring speakers from several universities and colleges sharing expertise related to animal studies and animal rights from various philosophical, literary, and scientific perspectives. The conference is sponsored by Trinity College’s Department of Philosophy, Human Rights Program, and Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies, as well as by the Connecticut Humane Society. Trinity College Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Classics Shane Ewegen has organized the conference, which is a celebration of and capstone to a philosophy course he teaches at Trinity, “Who’s the Animal, Here? Animal Rights, Human Responsibilities.”

The conference is free and open to the public.


Thursday, April 16 – Panel discussion 12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m., details below
Friday, April 17 – Events 3:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m., details below
Saturday, April 18 – Events 9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., details below

All conference events will take place on the campus of Trinity College, 300 Summit Street, Hartford, Connecticut, 06106

Thursday’s discussion will be in Hallden Hall – North Wing Grand Room 104

Friday and Saturday events will all take place in McCook Auditorium


Thursday, April 16: From 12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m., “Animality,” a panel discussion about animal consciousness, will feature Trinity College faculty members: Kent Dunlap, professor of biology; Brownell Professor of Philosophy Dan Lloyd, and Shane Ewegen, assistant professor of philosophy and classics. Assistant Professor of Chemistry Michelle Kovarik will moderate the discussion, sponsored by the Trinity Institute for Interdisciplinary Studies.

Friday, April 17: At 3:00 p.m., Justin Eichenlaub, assistant director of the Franke Program in Science & the Humanities at Yale University, will present “From Road Ecology to Traffic Justice: Humans and Other Animals On The Road.” At 4:00 p.m., Alexandra Rosati, post-doctoral researcher in the Psychology Department at Yale University, will give a talk entitled, “Decision-Making in Chimpanzees, Bonobos, and Humans.” A reception at 5:30 p.m. in Hamlin Hall will follow.

Saturday, April 18: At 10:00 a.m., Toby Svoboda, assistant professor in the Department of Philosophy at Fairfield University will present “Teleology and Animal Flourishing.” At 11:00 a.m., David Alexander Craig, Ph.D. candidate in the Philosophy Department at Oregon University, will discuss “Kant’s Animal-Rational Axis.” At 1:30 p.m., Maggie Labinksi, assistant professor of philosophy at Fairfield University, will speak about “Veganism as Activism: Feminist Agency and the (Non-Human) Animal.” At 2:30 p.m., Michelle Neely, assistant professor of English at Connecticut College, will discuss “Animal Kin: Pets and the 19th-Century Racial Imagination.” At 4:00 p.m., Kari Weil, university professor of letters at Wesleyan University, gives a talk entitled, “The War on Pity in 19th-Century France (or Putting Descartes before the Horse).” The final speaker, at 5:00 p.m., is DePaul University Professor of Philosophy Michael Naas, who will discuss “Clothes Make the Man: Plato on the Origins of the Human, Politics, and Philosophy.” 

For more information, contact Assistant Professor of Philosophy and Classics Shane Ewegen at

Donations to the Connecticut Humane Society of pet food and money will be collected at the conference.