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1. Maston, Sara Kay. An Animal Among Animals.

Degree: MFA - Master of Fine Arts, Visual Arts, 2018, York University

The discourse of Animal Studies has been gaining momentum as a scholarly discipline, advanced in remarkably diverse ways by theorists such as Jakob Von Uexkll, Gilles Deleuze, Donna Haraway, Michel Serres, and Giorgio Agamben. Drawing on these theorists, my research on animality seeks to name what the animal represents, as well as situate the human as an animal, and address questions of ecology and non-anthropocentric relational subjectivity. I will also look at several artists who have advanced the cultural identity of animals through their work including LinLee-Chen, Jochen Lempert, and Pudlo Pudlat. This paper proposes to reject the notion of humans as separate from nature and emphasizes the exploration of unrecognized forms of knowledge acquired from the parallel lifeworlds of animals. I will also describe my method of practice-based research through visual art as a means to approach the abstract and often inaccessible knowledge of an animals experience without favoring the anthropomorphic constraints of language. My visual research employs storytelling and metaphors through painting, drawing on personal narratives or dreams as a medium to engage the multiplicity of worlds and reveal meaning without imparting propositional claims. I will walk the reader through the accompanying thesis exhibition, describing a series of paintings that focus on rendering animal experiences that are oftentimes disregarded or invisible to our human affordances. A large-scale installation will facilitate a space that situates the viewer in relation to nonhuman animals inhabiting parallel environments. Paintings focused on rendering the physicality and vantage points of nonhuman animals, along with non-pictorial elements, are used to disengage anthropomorphic assumptions and situate human animality in a symbiogenetic relationship with other animals. Advisors/Committee Members: Daigneault, Michel (advisor).

Subjects/Keywords: Visual Arts

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APA (6th Edition):

Maston, S. K. (2018). An Animal Among Animals. (Masters Thesis). York University. Retrieved from

Chicago Manual of Style (16th Edition):

Maston, Sara Kay. “An Animal Among Animals.” 2018. Masters Thesis, York University. Accessed December 18, 2018.

MLA Handbook (7th Edition):

Maston, Sara Kay. “An Animal Among Animals.” 2018. Web. 18 Dec 2018.


Maston SK. An Animal Among Animals. [Internet] [Masters thesis]. York University; 2018. [cited 2018 Dec 18]. Available from:

Council of Science Editors:

Maston SK. An Animal Among Animals. [Masters Thesis]. York University; 2018. Available from: