Eva Meijer
Political animal voices.

Promotor: Prof. dr. H.Y.M. Jansen
Copromotor: Dr. R. Celikates
Voordracht: Universiteit van Amsterdam, Faculteit der Geesteswetenschappen


Overwegingen van de selectiecommissie
This book analyses how we can place the animal in the field of politics today, using cultural analysis but also linguistic, political, and behavior-observation methods. Animal language and 'animal politics' are topical subjects, and as such, quite a bit of literature has appeared on both, but the connection between the two subjects makes the dissertation very original. It is also a very rich thesis in the sense that it connects different themes and approaches to different perspectives - linguistics and language philosophy, ethology, political theory, participatory research (communication between humans and other animals). The case studies are also provocative (especially 'Worm politics', with a big wink to Frans de Waals 'Chimp politics'; her plea for goose / human deliberation at Schiphol is also fascinating, while the casus about the writer’s relationship with a Romanian stray dog also opens up unsettling questions from familiar terrain. The dissertation is a treasure-house: it frames animal language in language game framing, discusses animal agency and politics a la Kymlicka and Donaldson, and ends with nothing less than an argument for multispecies deliberation.
The jury deems this dissertation highly original, internationally significant and well-written. The book goes beyond a casus, and reframes habitual language while allowing readability by non-specialists. The book shows the daring and flair of its writer. It tickles us, bites and barks at us. The jury also praises it for its exceptional balance between the creative and the analytical.

Eva Meijer is kunstenaar, filosoof, muzikant en schrijver. Ze promoveerde eind vorig jaar met het proefschrift Political animal voices aan de Universiteit van Amsterdam, waar ze ook lesgeeft. Ze is voorzitter van de OZSW werkgroep dierethiek en oprichter van Minding Animals Nederland. Recent verschenen de roman Het vogelhuis, over vogelonderzoeker Len Howard, en het essay De soldaat was een dolfijn, over politieke dieren en dierenpolitiek. Meer informatie is te vinden op www.evameijer.nl.