Animals and Society section CFP

Kathryn Asher is organizing an upcoming ASA session which may be of interest to section members:

Seen and Unseen: The Role of Visibility in Humans’ Use of Nonhuman Animals

Papers to be presented at the Animals and Society section session, American Sociological Association annual meeting, August 23, 2016, Seattle, WA

Description: Exploring how visibility and invisibility (removal from sight) make us more or less comfortable about different types of animal use by considering how exposure weakens support for animal use and/or leads to increased tolerance of that use.

Possible Topics (but not limited to)
– The effects of graphic imagery
– Reactance and message aversion
– The politics of representation of animals and animal-related issues in news media, television, film, and advertising
– Undercover investigations
– Ag-gag laws
– The effect of animal advocacy oriented actions and materials
– The role of language, e.g., “it” vs. “she” or “he,” murder vs. slaughter, livestock vs. cow, depersonalized scientific language
– Bearing witness/The Save Movement
– The concept of the absent referent
– The politics of sight
– Representing animals en mass vs. telling individual animals’ stories
– The de-animalization of meat and other animal products
– Traditionally hidden forms of animal use, e.g., factory farms and slaughterhouses, euthanasia in shelters, animal experimentation, and dog/cockfights
– (More) public forms of animal use, e.g., rodeos, bullfights, zoos, circuses, marine mammal parks, dog/horse racing, public dissections at zoos, public animal sacrifices, hunting
– Other ways we watch animals, e.g., companion animals, birding, whale watching, photographing animals, scuba diving, animal sanctuaries, safaris, ecotourism

Deadline: January 6, 2016, 3pm EST. Submit via the online system at

Paper Criteria
– Only papers will be considered. No abstracts or paper proposals.
– Limited to 25-35 pages (including footnotes, table, and bibliographies). Session will be one hour and 40 minutes with four to five papers.
– Papers must reflect original empirical or theoretical research or major developments in previously reported research. Papers are not eligible for inclusion if they have been read previously at ASA or other professional meetings, if they have been published prior to the meeting or accepted for publication before being submitted to organizers for consideration, or if they have been modified in only secondary respects after similar readings or publication.

More Information: Session Organizer, Kathryn Asher (University of New Brunswick), Discussant, Cameron Whitley (Michigan State University).