Being a Beast: Exploring the Sensory Worlds of Non-Human Species with Charles Foster

  • Charles Foster, Green Templeton College, University of Oxford, in conversation with Daniel Heath Justice, First Nations and Indigenous Studies, UBC, and Margery Fee, English, UBC
    Online presentation via Zoom (click here to join)

    Wednesday, November 18, 12 pm
    in the series
    Green College Encounters
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  • How accessible is otherness? One way of trying to find out is to try to enter the sensory worlds of non-human species – for instance badgers, foxes, otters, red deer, and international swifts. Charles Foster tried. This is the story behind Foster's New York Times Bestseller, Being a Beast, which won him the Ignobel Prize for Biology.

    Charles Foster is a Fellow of Green Templeton College, University of Oxford. His books cover many fields. They include books on travel, evolutionary biology, natural history, anthropology, theology, archaeology, philosophy and law. Ultimately they are all attempts to answer the questions "Who or what are we?," and "what on earth are we doing here?"

    His latest non-academic book is Being a Beast, which is published in the UK by Profile Books and in the US by Metropolitan Books. It is a New York Times Bestseller, was long-listed for the Baillie Gifford Prize and the Wainwright Prize, won the Deux Million d’Amis literary prize (France) and is the subject of a forthcoming feature film made by Sovereign Films. Foster won an IgNobel Prize for Biology for the work in the book.

    His writing has appeared in many publications including the Guardian, the Spectator, National Geographic, BBC Wildlife magazine, Time Out, the Daily Telegraph, the Independent, the Oldie and the Literary Review. A full list of publications is on this website.

    His current academic interests relate mainly to the relevance of identity and personhood in decision-making, and to whether the notion of dignity can do any real work at the philosophical coal-face.

    He read veterinary medicine and law at Cambridge, and is a qualified veterinary surgeon. He holds a PhD in law/bioethics from the University of Cambridge.

    He teaches Medical Law and Ethics at the University of Oxford, and is a Visiting Professor and a member of the Oxford University Law Faculty. His Faculty page is here. He is a Senior Research Associate at the Oxford Uehiro Centre for Practical Ethics, and a Research Associate at the Ethox Centre and the HeLEX Centre, all at the University of Oxford. He retains an active interest in veterinary medicine – particularly veterinary acupuncture and general wildlife and large animal medicine. He is a member of the Council of the Association of British Veterinary Acupuncturists.

    He is a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a Fellow of the Linnean Society.

    He is married, with six children, and lives in Oxford


    Daniel Heath Justice is a Colorado-born Canadian citizen of the Cherokee Nation/ ᏣᎳᎩᎯ ᎠᏰᎵ. He received his B.A. from the University of Northern Colorado and his M.A. and Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Before coming to UBC, he spent ten years as a faculty member in the Department of English at the University of Toronto in Haudenosaunee and Anishinaabe territory, where he was also an affiliate of the Aboriginal Studies Program. Daniel currently holds the Canada Research Chair in Indigenous Literature and Expressive Culture at UBC


    Margery Fee, FRSC, Professor Emerita of English, UBC, held the David and Brenda McLean Chair in Canadian Studies (2015-2017) to work on early Indigenous oral and literary production. Recent publications are Literary Land Claims: The “Indian Land Question” from Pontiac’s War to Attawapiskat (2015), Tekahionwake: E. Pauline Johnson’s Writings on Native North America (2016), co-edited with Dory Nason, Polar Bear (Reaktion, 2019) and an edited collection of Jean Barman’s essays, On the Cusp of Contact: Gender, Space, and Race in the Colonization of British Columbia (Harbour, 2020).


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When
November 18th, 2020 12:00 PM   through   1:30 PM
Location
Online Lecture via Zoom
BC
Canada
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