News and Updates


Animal Studies Journal

Special Topics Issue: Critical Animal Studies in an Age of Extinction

Guest editors: Chloë Taylor, Eve Kasprzycka, and Kelly Struthers Montford

We live in a time of biodiversity loss that has only five precedents in the history of the earth. Unlike the previous five mass extinction events, this time, an extraordinarily destructive minority of one species, our own, is the cause. Researchers across the natural and social sciences, as well as the arts and humanities, have all acknowledged human interaction with other animals as being a significant driver of greenhouse gas emissions and anthropogenic habitat loss –interactions such as the upsurge of farmed-animal populations and the expansion of industrialized overfishing. Indeed, current rates of human-driven biodiversity loss are a clearer indication than climate change that we have entered a new geological epoch—what is being called the Anthropocene—with climate change but one of many anthropogenic causes of the current extinction event. Although such catastrophic eliminations in the web of life will inevitably have dire repercussions for humans, mass-extinction continues to be a relatively rare subject of media, political, and ethical discussion in comparison to climate change.

How should Critical Animal Studies scholars respond to the fact that animal species are disappearing at nearly unprecedented rates? What can Critical Animal Studies perspectives offer in terms of political and ethical responses to the Sixth Extinction? Does thinking about animal death at the scale of mass biodiversity loss challenge, or lend urgency to, certain approaches to Critical Animal Studies? Are species extinctions any more tragic than the deaths of animals who belong to abundant species, such as the industrially farmed animals and laboratory animals on whom CAS scholars frequently focus?

We welcome Critical Animal Studies reflections on, but not limited to, the following topics:

  • Capitalism and extinction
  • Colonialism and extinction
  • Indigenous perspectives on conservation and extinction
  • Feminist and queer perspectives on mass extinction
  • Crip theory and critical disability studies perspectives on mass extinction
  • Food production, land use, new food technologies, and mass extinction
  • De-extinction, resurrection biology, or species revivalism
  • Animals as conservation subjects
  • Ecological and animal grief
  • Death justice and responsibility in the Anthropocene
  • Legal responses to mass extinction
  • Afrofuturisms, Afropessimisms and extinction
  • Massification and economies of extinction

The deadline for submissions is June 1, 2023. Articles should be submitted through the Animal Studies Journal submission system and authors should consult the journal for submission guidelines. Decisions will be sent to authors by August 1 and final, revised versions of articles will be due September 1 for publication in the second 2023 issue of ASJ. If you have any questions, please write to Eve Kasprzycka or Chloë Taylor at