Nonhuman Animals in the Age of Extinction and Mass Production

Nonhuman Animals in the Age of Extinction and Mass Production will critically examine the paradoxical situation of nonhuman animal life in an international context. The conference theme addresses one of the most urgent challenges facing humanity and other animals in the context of the climate crisis and the global capitalist system: the destruction of habitats and exploitation of animals that drives both extinction and consumption. This conference will explore how literature and other cultural productions criticise and rethink the ethical, ecological and social implications of climate change and overconsumption. It will therefore foster a dialogue between Animal Studies, Extinction Studies and Environmental Humanities, interdisciplinary fields that share concerns but also have tensions.

Interrogating human-animal relations and imagining more emancipatory ways to organise environments, the event will contribute to the College’s ‘Environmental Humanities’ (EH) research theme and UCD’s key strategy of ‘rising to the future.’ It will also create the groundwork for an international Animal Studies Research Network to be based within the EH research strand and will help connect scholars in Ireland working in this field with international networks. The conference also resonates with other CAH research themes, including ‘Violence and Society’ and ‘Health, Medicine, & Well-being.’

The event will feature keynote speeches by Dr. Sarah Bezan and Dr. John Miller, both leading researchers in the intersection of Animal Studies and Environmental Humanities. In order to spotlight early career research, the event will include selected presentations and posters by PhD scholars and ECRs. 

Research Aims

The aim of this conference is to initiate a pioneering international academic dialogue between Animal Studies, Extinction Studies and Environmental Humanities. It will kickstart an Animal Studies focus within the Environmental Humanities at UCD, which is currently lacking in both the university and Ireland more generally. As such, the key aim of Nonhuman Animals in the Age of Extinction and Mass Production is to further develop interdisciplinary research and themes in the EH strand, both within the university and externally.


The conference will take place on Thursday 16 May (online) & Friday 17 May (in-person). The online day will consist only of panel presentations, but the in-person day will also feature two plenary sessions by Dr. Sarah Bezan (University College Cork) and Dr. John Miller (University of Sheffield). Both the plenary sessions and all delivered papers will be edited and made available on our website as podcasts after the conference. The conference will also feature printed out poster presentations and will be featured on our website. Additionally, a select number of bursaries have been made available for unpaid or lower income PhDs and ERCs, both for presenters and audience participants.

The conference will serve as a kickstart to the Animal Studies Research Network at UCD. A bimonthly, virtual seminar series that will commence in September 2024 will be presented at the conference. 


Funding for Nonhuman Animals in the Age of Extinction and Mass Production is generously provided by the UCD College of Arts and Humanities Seed Funding Scheme and the Humanities Institute Seed Funding Scheme.

Theme Leads

Poulomi Choudhury
Poulomi Choudhury
Poulomi Choudhury is an Irish Research Council Postgraduate Scholar and an HI Resident Scholar in UCD’s Environmental Humanities research strand. Her doctoral project explores the role of animal agriculture and meat in the current and ongoing climate crisis through an analysis of twenty-first-century literary works. Poulomi holds a BA in English Literature and was awarded the Government of Ireland Scholarship to complete her MPhil in Popular Literature from Trinity College Dublin. She holds another Masters in Cultural Studies. Her research interests include food studies, critical animal studies, vegan studies, gender and sexuality studies, disability studies, and critical race theory.
Deborah Schrijvers
Deborah Schrijvers
Deborah Schrijvers is an Ad Astra PhD scholar at UCD, in the School of English, Drama and Film as part of the Environmental Humanities strand. She holds a Bachelor in Philosophy and Literary Studies, and a Research Master in Literary Studies. For her PhD project, she researches visual extinction narratives and temporalities with an emphasis on gender, race and decolonisation in contemporary and transnational film and art. She has recently been the recipient of an EARTH fellowship at the University of Edinburgh (April-June 2023) and is currently an affiliate researcher at Network for Environmental Humanities at Utrecht University (September 2023 – February 2024). Additionally, she is UCD Environmental Humanities’ Research Assistant and copy editor at the human-animal studies journal Humanimalia.