Welcome to the Bovine Scholarship Network

Hi Everyone, 

A big welcome to the Bovine Scholarship Network. You can access the full network dashboard here: https://hcommons.org/groups/bovine-scholarship-network/ 

The Back story: 

In 2019, I reached out to a bunch of other academics who seemed to be working on “cow geographies” – we had big plans to host a session centered on talking about the theoretical, methodological and empirical connections of cows and geographies at the 2020 American Association of Geographers Conference. COVID hit and plans changed. 

Myself and Andrea Petitt kept the conversation going and, well, here we are!

We hosted our first ever Bovine Scholarship Workshop in October and it was a big success. We decided to keep the workshop small with more time dedicated toward conversation than presentation. We found we had a lot to talk about and there was ample room for thinking through ideas together. 

Part of those conversations involved establishing the Bovine Scholarship Network.

The Network

This platform is new to most of us and while we might take some time to figure it out we thought it might be preferable to having a website or a Listserve. On Humanities Commons we can share content with each other, engage in conversations and write posts like this. If you have ideas as to how we could use this site and platform better, feel free to share them. For now, consider doing the following:

  • Put some of your own writing and journal articles into the CORE Repository.
  • If you want to share some work in progress, calls, etc, make use of the File functions
  • If you want to discuss a particular theme, idea, or anything really – make use of the discussion boards
  • If there are events you think would be useful to the group, pop them into Events
  • And any member can write a blog post! So share, write, comment 🙂

This network is here for us to network, share, and work with each other. It is all still new :). To make full use of Humanities Commons you might want to:

  • Look at your own individual site and consider updating your profile.
  • Make sure to look at what your email settings are
  • Have a look for other groups you might enjoy – like this one called “Animal Studies”. 

Where to from here?

We are in the works of putting together a call for another workshop, more on that to follow soon. Other than that things are fairly open. Perhaps head over to the discussion board if you have some ideas and propositions. 

I look forward to interacting with you all here in more depth!




Third Bovine Scholarship Network Workshop Call for Participation

June 5, 6, 7 2023

Applications due April 15, 2023

From the 5th to the 7th of June 2023, the Bovine Scholarship Network is hosting its 3rd Bovine Scholarship Workshop: a multi-day, online, international gathering for researchers interested in and contributing to understandings of bovines in the social sciences, humanities, and the arts. The theme for this workshop is Methods for Bovine Scholarship. This hybrid event will be hosted by the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, convened by Scout Calvert (UNL) and Roxane Gabet (Université de Liège) with support from co-founders of the Network (Andrea Petitt and Claudia Towne Hirtenfelder). 

As the interdisciplinary study of animals has grown, methods from component disciplines have been taken up by bovine scholars, while new methods have been generated from within animal studies. We invite presentations to explore practices and research methods for bovine scholarship. What approaches have been fruitful for your work in generating new knowledge of bovines and bovine relations in our more-than-human history, culture, and environments? What barriers have you faced in your investigations and how have you adapted, altered, developed, or dropped methods to engage in your research with bovines? 

As with previous Bovine Scholarship Workshops, organizers seek to maximize participation of all attendees. With this workshop, we invite presentations in a variety of formats, the details of which can be found below: 

  • Flash talk (5 min)
    • A flash talk is designed to be provocative – broad strokes that invite discussion or entice BSW participants to learn more, or focusing on one narrow concept or idea to explode or explore. We encourage presenters to pre-record their flash talk to share in advance; some talks may be delivered live. After all have presented, we will have a joint discussion. 
  • Project update (10 min)
    • This is for on-going work or work that is in development that the presenter would like some help thinking through. These will be done at the workshop with discussion periods immediately following them
  • Traditional presentation (15 min) and panel discussion
    • This will be done the same as the previous workshops whereby presenters have 15 minutes to present work and a panel discussion will follow. 
  • Panel discussant
    • By invitation or by request, based on your research interest statement.

To apply please fill in this Google Form. You will be asked to submit your contact details, the title of your presentation, a 200-300 word abstract, and a 100-250 bio. Please note that you do not need to have an affiliated paper with your abstract and that works in progress are welcome. If you are only interested in participating (but not presenting) your application should include a 200-250 word motivation for why you would like to attend. You will also be asked to select your preferred time zones and these will be used to determine the exact timing of the workshop itself, with a slight privileging of UTC-5. The deadline for all applications is the 15th of April 2023.

If you would like to stay abreast of these calls please join the Bovine Scholarship Network. The goals of the network are as follows:

  • Knowledge sharing and networking: To create a space in which scholars working on similar subject matter but from different disciplinary backgrounds and social geographies can work with and learn from one another, charting a way for future collaboration and knowledge production.
  • Capacity Building: To give scholars the opportunity to learn from and work closely with other scholars with similar research interests.
  • Collaboration: To forge new avenues of collaboration between individuals, departments and universities.
  • Knowledge Innovation: To expand and consider different ways of knowing and thinking about multi-species relations and stories.
  • Knowledge Production: To work towards the creation of an edited volume, and to also develop some popular science content on the topic.

We look forward to your application and to meeting you at the workshop!

Please email any questions to bovinescholarshipnetwork@gmail.com

Kindest regards, 

The Workshop Organizing Team

Notes from the 2nd Bovine Scholarship Workshop

We (quite literally) just wrapped up the second bovine scholarship workshop. We had several fascinating presentations, loads of break out rooms and discussion, and touched on numerous fascinating topics related to bovines. We were happy to be co-hosting this workshop together with the BoS Project  (The Body Societal: Unfolding Genomics Infrastructure in Cattle Livestock Selection and Reproduction).! This entry provides a brief overview and some artefacts from the workshop.

The Program

You can see more about what happened and who was there by checking out the program. Like with the previous workshop we kept things tight. Each session included a presentations, panel, and plenum discussions. We also had a session centered on themes and the future of the network. The program was centered on themes based on the submissions made by presenters, which included:

  • Bovine Economies and Technologies
  • Being and Defining Bovines
  • Bovine Mobility and Climate Change

What do you think of when you think of bovines?

Arguably (but I’m biased) one of the stars of the workshop was the jamboard. It provided an interactive space where we could share some of our ideas. The first question we reflected on was open – what do you think of when you think of bovines?

Folks touched on the numerous ways in which cows are thought of and these ended up becoming themes throughout the workshop. Questions about how to think about individuals and groups, landscapes and herds, history and the present all pointed to the complexity of knowing and thinking about bovines. These were tensions that were undergirding much of the workshop and emerged in subsequent sessions, ass can be evidenced by the below:

As part of our collaboration with the BoS Project we also put forward questions that were directly related to that project – these were primarily centered around thinking through concepts such as “infrastructure”, “practice”, “mundane”, “spectacular”, and “scales” of bovine experiences.

All in all, it was an exciting workshop that involved a lot of conversation, an opening of many thoughts, as well as the beginning of several connections and future possibilities. We ended with thinking about the future of the Network and decided that we would stick to having the workshop twice a year but that the future one might have a slightly different structure so as to allow for more targeted discussion. We are also looking for future collaborators and exploring other roles and responsibilities folks might take on in the network. If you have ideas, reach out!

If you would like to be part of the network and have some ideas please connect with us here. Sign up to the commons and let’s keep the conversation going. For those of you who are already part of the network, keep your eyes peeled for the next workshop which will be coming up toward the end of the year!

Thank you so much to everyone who attended the workshop and shared so generously of their time and ideas. It was lovely to just think about bovines and to see how many diverse questions related to them are being grappled with.

Bovine Trivia

Yesterday we launched the 2nd Bovine Scholarship Workshop! Like with the first we designed the workshop so that it includes a small group of people so that we can have engagement throughout. But what is a workshop without some trivia? To get to know each other folks were thrown into groups of 4 and made to ponder some questions about bovines. Here are 10 of them:


  1. How many teeth does a cow have?
  2. How old was the oldest recorded cow?
  3. How can you determine how old a cow is?
  4. What year was milk pasteurized?           
  5. Which country in Europe is constituently one of the top, if not the top exporter of live cattle in the world?
  6. Which breed of cow had the first herd book in the world?
  7. In industry language, what is “a springer”?
  8. Where might you find Ankole cows?
  9. When did cows first arrive in the Americas?
  10. Which city was historically known as the Great Bovine City of the World?
“Ankole” Photo by Gio’s Studio on Unsplash


  1. 32
  2. The oldest cow ever recorded was a Dremon Cow named ‘Big Bertha’ who died 3 months just before her 49th birthday on New Years Eve, 1993. She also holds the record for lifetime breeding as she produced 39 calves.
  3. The age of a cow can be determined by counting the rings on its horns. (And you can determine their age by their teeth!)
  4. Milk was pasteurized in 1886  by Louis Pasteur
  5. France (Brazil is the largest beef exporter but France one of the largest of live animal exports).
  6. Shorthorns (and second herd book ever) in 1822 called the Coates Herd Book
  7. A cow or heifer close to giving birth
  8. Ankole belong to the Sanga group, cows Indigenous to Africa. They are in east and Central Africa – primarily Uganda, the DRC, Rwanda, and Tanzania.
  9. On Christopher Columbus’ second voyage in 1493
  10. Chicago
The maze of livestock pens and walkways at Chicago’s stockyards, ca. 1947

Call Reminder: 2nd Bovine Scholarship Workshop

Just a reminder that the deadline to apply to present or attend at the upcoming Bovine Scholarship Workshop is the 28th of January!

The workshop will be held over two afternoons (13:00-17:00 CET) on the 30th and 31st of March 2022. There are limited spaces to present and attend the workshop. If you are interested in presenting your application should include: a 200-250 word abstract, a 150 word bio, affiliation and email address. Please note that you do not need to have an affiliated paper with your abstract and that works in progress are welcome. If you are only interested in participating (but not presenting) and this is your first time applying to a Bovine Scholarship Workshop your application should include: a 200-250 word motivation for why you would like to attend and what your interests in bovine scholarship are, a 150 word bio, affiliation, and email address.

If you are interested in attending fill in this application form.

You can see the full Call here.

Please also consider joining the Bovine Scholarship Network. You can do this by registering on the Humanities Commons


We hope to see you there!

Some interesting upcoming Calls

Hey folks,

Here are some interesting calls I thought might be of interest to you:

Call for Papers: Livestock as Global and Imperial Commodities: Economies, Ecologies and Knowledge Regimes, c. 1500 – present – https://networks.h-net.org/node/16560/discussions/6893399/call-papers-heterotopia-radical-imagination-and-shattering-orders

Call for Papers: Heterotopia, Radical Imagination, and Shattering Orders: Manifesting a Future of Liberated Animals: https://networks.h-net.org/node/16560/discussions/6893399/call-papers-heterotopia-radical-imagination-and-shattering-orders

Call for Writing Support Programme: http://eseh.org/nextgate/calls-and-activities/call-for-writing-support-programme/

Call for Application: Postdoc Fellowship in Animal Studies 2022-24: https://animalpolitics.queensu.ca/call-for-application-postdoc-fellowship-in-animal-studies-2022-24/

Call for Applications for the Culture and Animals Foundation Grant: https://www.cultureandanimals.org/grants/grant-application/

Call for Book Chapters: Emerging Voices for Animals in Tourism: https://www.facebook.com/groups/AnimalGeographySpecialtyGroup/?multi_permalinks=10158454469543366&notif_id=1636821988933961&notif_t=group_activity&ref=notif

Call for Creative Submissions – You are Here Journal of Creative Geography – https://youareheregeography.com/

Special Issue “Communication in Defense of Nonhuman Animals during an Extinction and Climate Crisis”: https://www.mdpi.com/journal/journalmedia/special_issues/comm_animals

Call for Abstracts: 2nd Bovine Scholarship Network Workshop: https://hcommons.org/?get_group_doc=1003922/1637347147-BovineScholarshipNetwork-Workshop2Call.pdf

Good luck with your applications and if you are aware of any others feel free to share 🙂