CFP – Too Cute to Kill: From the Depiction of Animals in Children’s Literature to the Framing of Government Policy by Adults

Too Cute to Kill? From the Depiction of Animals in Children’s Literature to the Framing of Government Policy by Adults
A two-day workshop at the University of Surrey
21 and 22 July 2016

Confirmed speakers
Alick Simmons, Former Deputy Chief Veterinary Officer for England
Dr Francine Dolins, Department of Behavioural Sciences, University of Michigan-Dearborn
Dr Amy Ratelle, Faculty of Information, University of Toronto
Professor Wyn Grant, Department of Politics and International Studies, University of Warwick
Caroline Spence, Department of Biological and Experimental Psychology, Queen Mary University of London
Holly Webb, Best-selling children’s author and former children’s book editor at Scholastic

In collaboration with the Institute of Advanced Studies at the University of Surrey, the organising committee are pleased to announce a call for papers for this two-day workshop to be held in the School of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Surrey.

Attitudes, behaviours and choices impact all arenas of environmental, public and veterinary health. In particular, the cultural and emotional value accorded to certain animal species makes disease control and policy development complex. This international and interdisciplinary workshop will explore the depictions of wild and domestic animals in children’s literature and how these shape the value accorded to animals and their environment into adulthood. We seek a better understanding of how the cultural and emotional values accorded to certain animal species contribute to the complexity of policy development and implementation by government and impact environmental, public and veterinary health.

In particular, we hope to explore the particular association with young children and animals/nature in their literature and culture, and explore how sentimental and symbolic associations might contribute to the valuing of animals by adults in a way that can create tensions in the discussion, formation, and implementation of environmental, public and veterinary health initiatives.

This workshop will be of interest to academics and professionals in the following fields:

  • Those interested in policy development and stakeholder engagement
  • Policy developers
  • Behavioural psychologists
  • Ecocritics
  • Researchers and editors of children’s literature
  • Vets
  • Ecologists
  • Ethicists
  • Infectious disease researchers

We invite proposals of up to 200 words for presentations (15-20 minutes) and for posters. We particularly seek approaches that are multidisciplinary, interdisciplinary or open to working with other disciplines, with an interest in exploring the concept and origin of how animal species are framed and the impact this has on policy development. Possible topics include:

  • The representation of animals in children’s literature and other cultural forms, in and across children’s literature in different cultures and languages
  • The shaping and maintaining of human attitudes to animals, in terms of culture, behaviour and social interactions
  • The relationship between the representation of animals in culture and in the media and policy development
  • The issues and challenges of engaging the public and other stakeholders in policies involving animals

Proposals are to be emailed to by 31 March 2016.

For further information, see:

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