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Notícies
Domestication and hybrid communities Coexistence, coevolution, cooperation

International conference
April 14-15th 2016


Over the last few years the study of domestication has been deeply reinvigorated. Archaeology, biochemistry, genetics, evolutionary psychology, ethology, philosophy and anthropology have shifted our perspective on the complex way by which humans, plants and animal build hybrid communities. The diversity of paths and forms taken by domestication makes impossible a univocal model centred on the human desire to dominate the living. Diverse forms of domestication – commensality initiated by anthropophile animals, directed taming, genetically modified bio-products, etc. – raise the question of the respective weight of human strategy and non-human factors, plant and animal predispositions, reciprocal adaptations, and induced learning.


This diversity makes it necessary to adopt an open approach, emancipated from strict dichotomies such as domestic/wild, useful/harmful. These should take into consideration interspecific forms of association such as taming, mutualism, synanthropy, and parasitism, which sometimes constitute steps or detours in the domestication process. Some associations do not emerge by the human will, but in spite of it, as shown by the cases of the black rat or weeds, which flourish in anthropized niches.


At this conference, we propose to bring together the approaches of the different disciplines which take into consideration those multiple agencies and their coevolutions. Beyond the dyadic domesticator-domesticated relation, we will try to develop a triadic perspective on the interactional dynamics which associate and transform the human, the codomestic (plant or animal), and their shared habitat. This shared habitat may be the human body itself, its surface and organs (lice, mushrooms, bacteria), the human home (cat, house martin, stables within the house, etc.), or the human ecological niche (cultivated plants, weed, livestock, etc.).

In this perspective, attention will be paid to reciprocal adaptations: were humans “trapped” by the species they accepted to live with and started to manage and store? How do these species transform the humans’ way of life in making them farmers, herders? Do they join humans as bio-products, partners, parasites, exchange value, religious symbol? We will pay particular attention to co-habitats: how does a shared habitat create a common ground that enables familiarisation and the establishment of long-term, potentially personalised, relations between individuals belonging to different species?

Domestication has given rise to new interspecific forms of communication, cooperation and social cognition (unlike chimpanzees, dogs, goats, horses are receptive to intentional communication): what are the common grounds and the codes on which communication between codomestic species are established? How do animals cooperate in riding, working, milking and what is the role of those cooperations in the domestication process?

The conference welcomes papers on such diverse topics as archaeology of the first domestications, domestication of microbes, insects, the taming of wild animals, contemporary BioArt, attachment and inprint, multispecies ethnography...

Papers will be expected to offer elements of reflection on the notion of domestication, on the basis of fieldwork or empirical experiences.

Abstracts of less than 2000 characters written in French or English should be sent before 15th November 2015 to: charles.stepanoff@ephe.sorbonne.fr and charlotte.marchina@inalco.fr

Notification of decisions will be sent by the organising committee before 15th December 2015.

Organising committee: Charlotte Marchina (Institut national des langues et civilisations orientales), Charles Stépanoff (École pratique des hautes études), Jean-Denis Vigne (CNRS, Muséum national d’histoire naturelle).

Scientific committee: David G. Anderson (University of Aberdeen), Olivier Bignon-Lau (CNRS), Florence Brunois (CNRS), Carole Ferret (CNRS), Frédéric Keck (musée du quai Branly), Charlotte Marchina (INALCO), Perig Pitrou (CNRS), Charles Stépanoff (École pratique des hautes études), Jean-Denis Vigne (CNRS, Muséum national d’histoire naturelle).

Versió en francès


enviat el 22/10/2015
Associació Catalana de Bioarqueologia - acba@bioarqueologia.cat

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