Screening the Non/human: Animals Representations in Visual Media Seeks Essays

Screening the Non/human: Animals Representations in Visual Media 

Non/human animals are consistently represented in film, television, and advertising as a means of entertainment in a diversity of ways that often overlook the oppressive dynamics that impede a politics of animal liberation.  Certainly, mass media is a powerful force in our everyday lives because it both reflects and creates our culture. We are constantly bombarded with messages from a variety of sources that promote not only products we ought to buy, but also the attitudes that inform us what is and what is not, important.  It follows that should a culture depict nonhuman animals as unimportant, then non/human animals are treated accordingly.  While opinions may vary as to the influence that media has on nonhuman animals, most will agree that media has become a permanent part of our culture, and should be examined in more depth.

Whether it be Ms. Piggy selling bacon for Denny’s, the latest Disney film, or the rampant abuse of animals in the filming of The Hobbit,  the non/human is an ever-present part of media representation that often goes unacknowledged by academic writing.  This book seeks to fill that gap in research so as to seriously address the question of non/humans within visual media as a mode of representation and lived politics.  In short, this book seeks to address the question on the role mass media plays with respects to non/human animals.

This project seeks chapters that explore the following avenues of interests:

  • Animal abuse within television, film, and advertising
  • Speciesism as a lens of analysis for media studies
  • Representations of animals within children’s movies and television
  • Animals as metaphors
  • Animals as educational programming (like discovery channel, animal planet, ect.)
  • Animals as sports programming (horse/dog racing, championship dog/cat shows, hunting, etc.)
  • Animal representations on social media (youtube, facebook, etc.)
  • Poststructuralist readings of non/humans within the media
  • Marxist interpretations of animals within the media
  • Intersectional analysis concerning race, gender, sexuality, disability, and colonialism
  • Liberatory interpretations of media that situate alternatives to problematic modes of representations
  • Criticisms of animal welfare in advertisements by animal rights organizations
  • Comparative analysis between American and international representations of the non/human
  • Legal analysis of laws serving to protect animals being used in the media

At this time the project is not seeking chapters concerning animal representations in literature, art, or poetry.  However, the list is non-exhaustive and we are open to submissions that take on new approaches that would be useful in understanding how animals are (ab)used on the screen.  This project is designed to become part of the Institute of Critical Animal Studies’ Lexington Book Series.

If interested, please submit a 300-500 word abstract as well as a 150 word bio to Dr. JL Schatz ( and Dr. Amber George ( by June 30th, 2014.  Expected date for finished papers will be September 30th, 2014.  Questions concerning content of submissions, the nature of Critical Animal Studies, or anything else in relation to this project can also be directed to the aforementioned individuals


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