CALL FOR PAPERS

For a Book of Essays on

Our Animals/Ourselves: The Blurred Line

Between Human and Animal in Popular Culture

Anthropomorphization permeates modern popular culture in examples as familiar as Disney’s depiction of animals to moral lessons from children’s literature to our cultural preoccupations with internet cats. Increasingly, however, forms and adaptations of anthropomorphization are extending how this concept is expressed and blurring the lines between animal and human in significant ways. A multi-billion dollar pet product industry is driven by the growing view of pets as full family members. Cosmetic surgery, once reserved for humans, is now being done on dogs. Futuristic science fiction scenarios are becoming bioengineered reality. And where does the “furry” trend fit in?

Using the lens of popular culture, this book examines the significance of these social constructs surrounding the complexities of the human-animal relationship. Contributions will address how and why the traits and characteristics we ascribe to animals have significant consequences by shaping our relationships with animals and other humans, our understandings of ourselves and what it means to be human, and the consequences of these representations for the nonhuman animals who share this world. As behaviors, roles, and expectations that used to be reserved for humans now apply to animals, are lines between human and animal being obfuscated? How are animals becoming, and being treated, more like humans, and to a lesser degree, how are humans becoming more like animals? How are animals becoming extensions of people’s identities? How are media facilitating this? Simply put, in many ways, this is not so much a book about animals but a book about us–and the ways we regard animals.

Our Animals/Ourselves: The Blurred Line Between Human and Animal in Popular Culture will be published by McFarland & Co. It will include approximately twenty chapters. In general, papers should be ten to twenty-five, double-spaced pages and follow the current MLA Style Manual with in-text citations. Notes and works cited should appear at the end. Interdisciplinary work is welcomed. Chapters may include, but are not limited to, the following topics:

Advertising To, About, and Using Animals
Animals as Extensions of Human Identity (e.g., as personal or political statement, as fashion, etc.)
Animals and the Family (e.g., we increasingly treat them like human family members)
Animals as Persons/Personhood (includes ties to animal rights movements)
Animals, variously as Images in Art, in Children’s Literature, in Film and TV
Body modifications: of animal bodies that treat them like humans such as cosmetic surgery, and of human bodies to make them more like animals, and the “furry” trend
Case Studies of Real-life Anthropomorphized Animals and Animal-Human Intersections – examples: Pedals the bear; Toast and Finn’s dog wedding; Nano, the human woman who identifies as a cat
Disneyfication
Hero Animals and Criminal Animals
The Internet and Animals
Meanings and Consequences of Popular Perceptions of Specific Animals – examples: horses, dinosaurs, spiders
Pet Product Industry (the more we anthropomorphize animals, the more we buy them human stuff)
Science Fiction and Anthropomorphized Animals (including uplift, human-animal boundaries and ethics, and futuring)
Transmigration (pulls in symbols, religion, and mythology)

Inquiries and submissions should be sent to any of the following editors:

Kathy Merlock Jackson, Ph.D.
Professor of Communication
Virginia Wesleyan University
1584 Wesleyan Drive
Norfolk, VA 23502
Phone: (757) 455-3308
kmjackson@vwu.edu

Kathy Shepherd Stolley
Professor of Sociology
Virginia Wesleyan University
1584 Wesleyan Drive
Norfolk, VA 23502
Phone: (757) 233-8768
kstolley@vwu.edu

Lisa Lyon Payne, Ph.D.
Associate Professor of Communication
Virginia Wesleyan University
1584 Wesleyan Drive
Norfolk, VA 23502
Phone: (757) 455-3109
lpayne@vwu.edu

Find and share this CFP online: ouranimalsourselves.wordpress.com

Accepting proposals now.

Completed articles due August 1, 2018.

Advertisements