Wed 10 Nov

Living as a Bird with Vinciane Despret and Garry Marvin

A discussion with Vinciane Despret and Garry Marvin

In the first days of spring, birds undergo a spectacular metamorphosis. After a long winter of migration and peaceful coexistence, they suddenly begin to sing with all their might, varying each series of notes as if it were an audiophonic novel. They cannot bear the presence of other birds and begin to threaten and attack them if they cross a border, which might be invisible to human eyes but seems perfectly tangible to birds. Is this display of bird aggression just a pretence, a game that all birds play? Or do birds suddenly become territorial – and, if so, why?

Join philosopher Vinciane Despret for the launch of her book, Living as a Bird, as part of The Earth Here and Now, our series of events raising awareness about environmental issues, coinciding with the COP 26 currently held in Glasgow.

Newly translated into English, her essay sheds new light on seasonal change in bird behaviour, unveiling the variance in ways of life on this planet we share with other species. To dig deeper on biodiversity’s fragile balance here underlined, she will be joined in discussion by Garry Marvin, anthropologist and Professor of Human-Animal studies.

Wed 10 Nov 6.30pm | £7- £5

See also Spread Your Wings

In partnership with Polity

You can also find the French version at our partner bookshop La Page.

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About our guests

Vinciane Despret (University of Liège) is a Belgian philosopher of science, whose work proposes new approaches to human-animal relations. She is considered to be a foundational thinker in what has now become the field of animal studies. More generally, she undertakes a critical understanding of how science is fabricated, following scientists doing fieldwork and the way they actively create links and specific relationships to their objects of study.

Garry Marvin (University of Roehampton) is a social anthropologist with a particular interest in how different cultures conceive of, experience, and interact with the natural world. He is also interested in local ecological and environmental knowledge and how that might be incorporated into schemes to promote an awareness of, and engagement with, cultural heritage.

photo: Vinciane Despret © Sylvère Petit



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