Hydra Mule and Donkey Conference
This year’s Hydra Mule and Donkey Conference will bring a fine range of speakers, covering all aspects of mule and donkey culture. In addition it will bring speakers who have worked with mules and donkeys in a variety of interesting situations. Furthermore, the conference will coincide with the visit of Greek Animal Welfare vets to Hydra, providing the chance to see the care and development of the island’s equids at first hand. The conference will also include a mule-trekking trip, for those who wish to explore the island. There will also be opportunities to discuss with some of the donkey owners and muleteers on the island.
If you would like to attend the conference, please send an e-mail to the conference organizer Ed Emery: firstname.lastname@example.org
1. The use of donkeys and mules among the ancient North Arabian nomads in the light of the epigraphic evidence
Mohammad Ababneh researches at the Martin Luther University in Halle-Wittenberg, Germany. He will talk about the mule and donkey culture of Northern Arabia.
2. The Caravans of the Himalayas [Film and talk]
Brigitte Blot is an “indefatigable traveller”. As well as travelling throughout France with her own donkey, doing educational work, she has also filmed donkey caravans in the Himalayas.
3. The role of the donkey in the colonisation of Australia
Jill Bough is a researcher at the University of Newcastle, Australia. A long-standing collaborator of ours, she authored the book “Donkey” [Reaktion Boooks, 2011]
4. The all-conquering Balkan mule, c.1700-1914
William Clarence-Smith is a prolific researcher into quadruped matters at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), London. His recent work focuses on mule, donkey and horse usage in the Ottoman Empire.
5. The history of the mule in Moroccan mountain tourism
Glen Cousquer is an independent researcher who works on developing mule trekking possibilities in the Atlas Mountains in Morocco.
6. The mule and donkey culture of the Island of Hydra: problems, prospects and possibilities [Film and talk]
Ed Emery is an independent researcher operating out of the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London. A long-time participant in the cultural life of Hydra, he has produced a film about the island’s mule and donkey culture, which he will show here.
7. Veterinary work with mules and donkeys on Hydra
Elisa Geskou of Greek Animal Welfare brings a team of vets to Hydra every year to care for the island’s equids. She will talk about her work, and will answer questions about sustainable veterinary practice in the Mediterranean islands.
8. Invisible donkeys: the unsung role of the donkey in the Ancient Near East
Jill Goulder is an archaeologist at University College London. She works on use of working cattle and donkeys, in the Near East and Africa in particular
9. Mule Studies [Title: t.b.c.]
Amy McLean is a researcher at North Carolina State University. She has her own mule – Wild Bill – with whom she competes at championship shows. She will present her work on the comparative biology of mules, hinnies, donkeys and horses in West Africa and elsewhere.
10. The strange history of the Irish donkey
James Smyth of Queen’s University, Belfast is a sometime resident of Hydra. We asked him to research an little-examined topic – the donkeys of Ireland. He will present his results, with many a good anecdote attached.
11. Use of mules for non-drug smuggling in Turkey
Orhan Yilmaz of Canakkale University, Turkey, has worked with colleagues to produce a paper about a little-studied aspect of mule and donkey culture – their operations in trade across land borders, which may also equate with smuggling.