Monk is a black Labrador. He has accompanied Mariam Motamedi-Fraser to Goldsmiths since September 2015, when he was seven months old. He comes to staff and student meetings, and to the lectures and seminars on Mariam's third year option module, Thinking Animals, and on her MA option, Animals in Theory and Practice. Monk's role is to help sensitise both Mariam and students to the lessons that animals can teach, even – or perhaps especially – in unusual contexts (Oliver, 2009, Animal Lessons).
Monk has participated in many training sessions at The Dog Hub, where Mariam is a volunteer apprentice. Like most Labradors, who were originally bred for hunting and fishing, and who are hard-working and companionable, Monk enjoys the energy and shared focus required for training. He loves to 'work' for a ball, and any game that involves his sniff will have his full attention. Compared to humans, who have six million olfactory receptor cells in their noses, dogs have between two hundred million and one billion (depending on breed). They also have more than eight hundred different kinds of receptors. In celebration of this glorious nose, Monk and Mariam are currently learning about scent work, trailing and tracking.
Given that he is virtually waterproof (webbed toes, rudder tail, double-coat), Monk has a curious dislike of rain.
Fraser, Mariam. 1999. Identity without Selfhood: Simone de Beauvoir and Bisexuality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521623575
Motamedi-Fraser, Mariam. 2015. 'Locating the Archive: the search for "Nurafkan"'. In: Anthony Downey, ed. Dissonant Archives: Contemporary Visual Culture and Contested Narratives in the Middle East. London and New York: I.B .Tauris. ISBN 978-1-784-53-4110
Fraser, Mariam. 2010. Facts, Ethics and Event. In: Casper Bruun Jensen and Kjetil Roedje, eds. DELEUZIAN INTERSECTIONS: SCIENCE, TECHNOLOGY AND ANTHROPOLOGY. Oxford and New York: Berghahn Books, pp. 52-82. ISBN 978-1-84545-614-6
Motamedi-Fraser, Mariam and Zaker, Farniyaz. 2014. Words and Walls, Texts and Textiles: A Conversation. Theory, Culture and Society, pp. 1-20. ISSN 0263-2764
Fraser, Mariam. 2006. The ethics of reality and virtual reality: Latour, facts and values. History of the Human Sciences, 19(2), pp. 45-72. ISSN 1461720X
Fraser, Mariam. 2003. Material theory: Duration and the Serotonin Hypothesis of Depression. Theory Culture & Society, 20, pp. 1-26. ISSN 02632764
Fraser, Mariam. 1998. `The Face-Off Between Will and Fate': Artistic Identity and Neurological Style in de Kooning's Late Works. Body & Society, 4(4), pp. 1-22. ISSN 1357-034X