Yale Conference Examines Role of Pigs in Human Society

“Pig-Out: Hogs and Humans in Global and Historical Context,” an international conference being hosted by the Yale Program in Agrarian Studies Oct. 16-18, will examine the role of pigs in human society.

The conference is an interdisciplinary and cross-cultural endeavor to understand how pigs have worked their way into human communities, urban and rural, and, in the process, have become the, intimate companions of humans. Organized collaboratively by the Yale Program in Agrarian Studies, the Duke University Women Studies’ Program, and the Yale Sustainable Food Program, the conference aims to examine the full biological, ecological, historical, and symbolic complexity of a single species, pigs, in multiple socio-historical contexts.

Presenters will hail from around the world and across academic disciplines. They include academics working in fields ranging from anthropology to history to palaeo-genomics, and food journalists, a former pig farmer, and a chef.

Through three roundtables and seven discussion panels, participants will directly engage in the debates in the field of animal studies around “the problem of the animal,” while introducing socio-historical contexts from outside a Western, contemporary cultural archive.

The conference is being convened by Agrarian Studies program directors James C. Scott, Sterling Professor of Political Science and professor of anthropology at Yale; K. Sivaramakrishnan, Yale professor of anthropology and forestry and environmental studies; and Gabriel Rosenberg, assistant professor of women’s studies at Duke University.

The conference is being facilitated by external sponsors: the Animal Welfare Trust, the Duke University Program in Women’s Studies, and the Agricultural History Society, along with on-campus partners, including the Macmillan Center and its Councils on East Asian Studies, European Studies, Middle East Studies, and South Asian Studies.

Visit conference website. Download program.

Monday, October 12, 2015