Research Projects

CULIVIAN Research Group

Projects“Representations of masculinities in animal advocacy documentaries in English (2000-2021)”

Reference: CIGE/2021/100

Funding dedicated to the research of emerging research groups.
Funding institution: Conselleria d’Innovació, Universitats, Ciència i Societat Digital – Generalitat Valenciana

PI: Claudia Alonso Recarte
Members: Margarita Carretero-González, Brett Mills, María Teresa Lajoinie

Summary: The project seeks to contribute to the field of Critical Animal Studies by examining its intersectionality with Gender Studies and Masculinity Studies within a specific corpus: documentaries that focus on animal rights or animal welfare issues. Given the increasing popularity of both this filmic genre (in great part thanks to streaming services and platforms) and the “animal question” in the twenty-first century, the project seeks to examine how discourses about (new) masculinities and other gender identities are articulated, imbricated, or (re)constructed in narratives that fall within the category of animal advocacy, and how they inform the games of legitimacy, authority and authenticity that are so central to the documentary as a genre.

Some topics of research include:

  • The representation of men and different masculinities in these types of documentaries, with a particular focus on the representation of the body in connection to vegetarianism and veganism, on the narrativization of human masculinity in discourses of extinction, on the influence of representations of homosexuality and queer identities, and on the influence of the cultural perception of the activist as “radical” or as a “terrorist”.
  • The relation between the representation of nonhuman animals, sex, gender and gender roles, and how such categories may determine ethological findings that at the same time affect activist discourses.
  • The application of the most recent theories in the field of Masculinity Studies and the more consolidated ecofeminist theories in these types of documentaries, and how they may influence the audiovisual representation of animal exploitation industries and practices.