Call for manuscripts: The Lure of the Animal: Addressing Nonhuman Animals in Educational Theory and Research

by E Wayne Ross on November 17, 2009

Call for Manuscripts: Special Section of Critical Education

The Lure of the Animal: Addressing Nonhuman Animals in Educational Theory and Research

Special Section Guest Editor:
Abraham P. DeLeon
University of Texas at San Antonio

Critical Education is seeking manuscripts that address the question of the nonhuman animal in educational research, theory and praxis. Examining the representations of nonhuman animals provides opportunities to explore ideology, discourse, and the ways in which the construction of nonhumans mirrors the representation of the human Other in contemporary and historical contexts. Schools are filled with social practices concerning nonhuman animals, whether that is the food served in the cafeteria, dissection in Science classrooms, or representations in textbooks. Linked to an agenda of social justice that has emerged in the educational literature over the past decade, the treatment of nonhuman animals needs to be addressed by critical theorists in education that seek to change structures of oppression for all of life on this planet. Traditional representations of the animal persist (unfettered desire, wild, barbaric, brutish, and savage), despite the fact that we know little outside of Western empirical science. To be animal then is to be wild and something apart from supposedly human traits of rationality, language, and logic. In turn, this allows highly exploitive and torturous industries to emerge and flourish that exploit nonhumans. However, ruptures existed that threw into question what it meant to be human, such as the case of wild people and feral children. As the category of human is often reified in educational scholarship unquestioningly, this provides a unique opportunity to deconstruct these categories and their exclusionary functions.

The recent literature surrounding eco-pedagogy and critical animal studies (Andrzejewski, et. al., 2009; Best, 2009; Bowers, 2001; Kahn, 2008; Martusewicz & Edmundson, 2005; Riley-Taylor, 2002) and the cultural politics of nature (Shukin, 2009) begs us to examine how the question of the animal is tied to the larger project of educational theory and practice. Published over a series of issues, this section will allow scholars to explore what this means for education. Some possible topics can include:

  1. Have schools largely ignored nonhuman animals in historical and contemporary contexts? If so, why and in what specific ways?
  2. How is the cafeteria implicated in relationships of domination over the nonhuman body?
  3. What do intersecting oppressions (racism, speciesism, classism, sexism) mean for educational theory and practice?
  4. Do anthropocentric ideologies emerge in educational, theory, practice, or policy? How does anthropomorphism emerge in traditional forms of curriculum or textbooks?
  5. What have been the roles of nonhuman animals in schools historically?
  6. How can critical educational theory respond to the paradox of the “animal”?

The guest editor seeks theoretical, conceptual, and qualitative papers addressing the central theme and any work submitted will be peer-reviewed.

Nonhuman animals need to be accounted for within the broader educational literature and this special section allows scholars to explore this important and timely topic.

Any questions can be directed to Dr. Abraham DeLeon, University of Texas at San Antonio,


Critical Education is an international peer-reviewed journal, which seeks manuscripts that critically examine contemporary education contexts and practices.

Please see, for more information and submission information.