Ecology & Culture

All Proposals & Abstracts Must Be Submitted Through The PCA Conference Submission page
Please submit a proposal to only one area at a time. Exceptions and rules


The Ecology and Culture Area of the Popular Culture/American Culture Association’s is soliciting papers on Perspectives on the Human/Animal Connection.

American culture has had a rather schizophrenic relationship with the natural world. The Puritans bequeathed the dark view of nature as a howling wilderness filled with beasts—including Native Americans—intent on menacing civilized humans. From Thoreau, on the other hand, comes the notion that nature or wildness is the tonic for the ills of civilization. This dual heritage manifests itself in the American “nature vacation.” Although Americans love to “get away from it all” by heading to the beach or the mountains, they never shed the gnawing fear of sharks, spiders, bears, and bees which lurk there. Evolutionary theory, suggesting that animals and humans are more similar than different, evokes outrage in some and fascination in others. Concern for other species and the planet has given rise to a growing environmental movement, but a vocal contingent argues that human activity is unconnected to nature’s “mood swings.”

Abstracts of papers exploring the human/animal connection on any of the following or related topics are welcomed. Cambridge Scholars Press is interested in publishing a collection of selected essays.

  • Animal behaviorism
  • Animals and the media
  • Animals and popular culture
  • Animal/human linguistic associations
  • Animals and literature
  • Animals and anthropology
  • Animals and history
  • Evolutionary theory and popular culture
  • Religion and animals
  • Conservation and animals
  • Animals and Native Americans
  • Animals and environmentalism

Please submit a 250 word abstract to The PCA Conference Submission page Deadline is October 1st

Please send all inquires to:

Margaret O’Shaughnessey
Area Chair, Ecology and Culture
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Chapel Hill, NC 27599
Telephone: (919) 962-4039