EVENT Oct 06
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If We Could Talk to the Animals: Representations of fauna in popular culture

Organization: University of New England (Australia)
Categories: Graduate Conference, Popular Culture, Anthropology/Sociology, Cultural Studies, Environmental Studies, Film, TV, & Media, Food Studies, History
Event Date: 2022-10-06 Abstract Due: 2022-08-06

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PopCRN are celebrating World Animal Day with a virtual symposium exploring all things fauna in
popular culture to be held online on Thursday 6th of October 2022.

The animal world is rich and diverse, providing living counterpoints to human culture. Some are our friends, some we eat, some eat us, and some keep us awake at night buzzing around our room (I’m looking at you mosquitos!). It is perhaps no surprise that animals abound in popular culture. This World Animal Day we want to celebrate the fauna that have found their way into popular culture.

We welcome papers from researchers across the academic spectrum and encourage papers from
postgraduate researchers and early career researchers.

Topics can include, but are not restricted to:

  • "This Monkey’s Gone to Heaven" – animals and religion
  • "Until one has loved an animal, a part of one's soul remains unawakened" – relationships
    between humans and animals
  • "The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man
    again; but already it was impossible to say which was which" – anthropomorphism of animals
  • "Man is the cruelest animal" – the animalistic human
  • "Animals are my friends...and I don't eat my friends" – Animals, food and vegetarianism
  • "'Meow' means 'woof' in cat" – when animals talk to each other in films
  • "Let’s do it like they do on the Discovery channel" – humans inhabiting animal bodies in popular culture.
  • "I am fond of pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals" – implicit hierarchies of animals and humans.
  • "You can judge a man's true character by the way he treats his fellow animals" – human
    compassion for animals
  • "The animals of the world exist for their own reasons. They were not made for humans any
    more than black people were made for white, or women created for men" – animals as
    representative of human social relations
  • "You ain’t nothing but a hound dog" – Animals behaving badly in popular culture
  • "Like a cat on a hot tin roof" – Fearless and fearsome beasts in popular culture
  • "You use to ride on the chrome horse with your diplomat, who carried on his shoulder a Siamese cat". – The political animal
  • "I am the egg man, They are the egg men, I am the Walrus" – Animal alter-egos in popular
  • "Karma, karma, karma, karma, karma chameleon, You come and go, you come and go" – Animal journeys in popular culture 
  • "Scent and a sound, I'm lost and I'm found, And I'm hungry like the wolf" – The dark nature of animals in popular culture. 
  • "How much is that doggie in the window" – commoditisation and ownership of animals 
  • "I wanna be like you, I wanna talk like you, Walk like you, too" – humans adopting animal
  • "When witches go riding, and black cats are seen, the moon laughs and whispers, 'tis near
    Halloween" - The gothic animal

Please email abstracts (200 words) to popcrn@une.edu.au by 6/8/2022. Please include your name, affiliation, email address, title of paper and a short biography (100 words).