Contemporary Social Science Call for Papers: Urban Animals – Shifting Ecologies of Proximities

Contemporary Social Science

Animals have always inhabited cities in many ways – either as domesticated, stray, or wild creatures. Yet, in the face of the structural environmental transformations in the age of the Anthropocene, we may argue that all animals are in the process of being directly or indirectly urbanised.

Today, the changing geometry of human-animal encounters is made increasingly complex by the on-going processes of planetary urbanisation: as urban growth unevenly stretches outs towards suburban, exurban, and former industrial areas, as megacities define new conditions of human existence, more and more animals become involved in the urban ecology, while others turn feral and untamed, exploiting the new niches and interstices generated by the splintering urbanism.

In many cases, the competition for resources and the degree of conflict intensifies. At the same time, uncanny proximities also generate a potential for the composition of new ecologies, novel common worlds. Narratives of rights, responsibility, justice, and preservation accompany – and counterpoint – the process. In this context, it becomes compelling to analyse the dynamic and unstable socio-natural intersections where the animals and the urban meet.

This themed issue calls for papers that explore the shifting ecologies of proximity and coexistence between humans and urban animals, with a focus on multidisciplinary social science research.  It seeks papers examining questions such as:

  • Which are the social patterns, the legal frameworks, and the cultural practices produced in the coming-together of animals and humans within a shared environment?
  • How do animals exist in – and, in turn, shape – the urban ecology vis-à-vis their owners, exploiters, controllers, victims, and exterminators?
  • What are their regimes of existence, their patterns of mobility, their territoriality and interaction with the city, and inside it?
  • Which technologies and protocols are employed to cope with different sorts of animal and with which outcomes?

How to submit your paper

Article Submission Deadline: 30 January 2019

All papers will be peer reviewed. To submit a manuscript, please follow the Contemporary Social Science Instructions for Authors. When submitting their papers, authors should select this theme from the pull-down menu so that it will be reviewed for inclusion in this issue.

Editorial information

  • Guest Editor: Andrea Mubi Brighenti, University of Trento
  • Guest Editor: Andrea Pavoni, University Institute of Lisbon