Research Stream

Hayley Singer

Hayley Singer is an Associate of the Melbourne node of the ARC Centre of Excellence for the History of Emotions, and an early career researcher and teaching associate at The University of Melbourne. Hayley’s research traverses the fields of creative writing, ecofeminism and animal studies. Currently, her primary research focus is on developing and articulating a concept called the fleischgeist. The fleischgeist is a cultural condition that acknowledges that everywhere the production of animal death occurs there is also the potential for people to feel haunted by the violence inflicted upon animals. 

As part of this work, Hayley is writing a monograph titled The Fleischgeist: A Haunting. This work examines novels and important literary works that reckon with the politics of animal slaughter from the earliest days of industrial factory farming to the present. 

Increasingly, Hayley is committed to experimenting with ways creative writing techniques can be used to bend and even break the boundaries of scholarly writing practices. To this end, she treats her monograph as a project about creative writing and a work of creative writing. Her creative methodology is driven by a desire to treat the ‘essay’ as a form composed of philosophical investigations while acting, in certain ways, like a history, a work of life-writing, cultural criticism and theory as protest.

To date, Hayley has published scholarly papers, literary and eco-cultural critique on carnist narratives, meat and masculinities, feminism and flesh, love and extinction and the intersections where flesh, fiction and vanguard writing practices collide. Hayley’s growing body of publications can be found at Most recently, she has been commissioned to write a series of columns on ecologies for the popular culture journal The Lifted Brow. For this series Hayley is writing about the cultural ecologies of meat.

In July 2017 Hayley attended the Animals in Society Institute program at The University of Illinois in order to further develop her research. 



The Fleischgeist: A Haunting


Refereed Journal Articles

Singer, H. ‘Writing the fleischgeist’. Animal Studies Journal 5.2 (2016): 183‒201.

Cultural Critique

Singer, H. ‘From the Ribs of Disaster’. The Lifted Brow: Special Edition, The Feeder's Digest 36 (2017).

Singer, H. ‘Art, Meat and the Lives and Deaths of Animals’. LitHub (2017).

Singer, H. ‘Death Frames’. The Lifted Brow 35 (2017).

Singer, H. ‘The Pharmaco-carnist regime: some notes on an era’. The Lifted Brow 34 (2017).

Singer, H. ‘Strange Intimacies: On love, extinction and the Baw-Baw frog’. ZV Magazine 2 (2017).

Singer, H. ‘The Art of Carnism’. Special issue, Writing from Below 3.1 (2016).

Conference papers

Singer, H. ‘Mad Cows’, ‘Animaladies’ Human and Animal Research Network conference, The University of Sydney, 2016.                                                                                                                                   

Singer, H., S. Pyke and L. Mowson. ‘“Poultry Concerns” and “Fleshly Climes”’, ‘Performance Studies International conference #22’, The University of Melbourne, 2016.

Singer, H. ‘Jamming the carnophallogocentric machine’, ‘Beyond the Human Symposium: Feminism and the Animal Turn’ symposium, The University of Wollongong, 2016.

Singer, H. ‘Writing into the fleischgeist’, AASG conference ‘Animal Publics: Emotions, Empathy, Activism’, The University of Melbourne, 2015.

Singer, H. ‘Myth-communication is Serious Play’, Contemporary Women’s Writing Association ‘Women’s Writing and Environments’ conference, State Library of Victoria, 2014.

Singer, H. ‘Angela Carter Approaches Abjection’, The Australian Association of Writing Programs ‘Encounters: Place, Situation, Context’ conference, Deakin University, 2012.

Singer, H. ‘Fleischgeist’, ‘Perspectives on Power’ conference, The University of Queensland, 2011.