Paula is a Leverhulme ECR Fellow located within the Centre for Human Animal Studies at Edge Hill University.
Her three-year project ‘The visual consumption of animals: challenging persistent binaries’ aims to support transformational change in the way humans conceive and interact with nature. Focusing on zoos, racecourses (horses and greyhounds), and agricultural or county shows as sites where such visual consumption is routinized, the project will use qualitative research methods to:
- Examine the mechanisms by which the constitution of othered ‘natures’ as resources for visual consumption is normalised and made mundane, and
- Challenge human-nature binaries in ways that are still largely non-existent in non-/post-/more-than-human conceptions and evaluations of associated relations.
More information on project stages and progress can be accessed here.
Paula has an interdisciplinary background, encompassing both quantitative and qualitative approaches and methods. Her research focuses on understanding how both societal change and stability are constituted, particularly as these relate to climate and environmental change, the appropriation of nature, and the exploitation of nonhuman animals. Understanding how to challenge habitual ways of thinking and acting about nonhuman animals are a central focus of her research.
Prior to joining Edge Hill, Paula worked for 10 years at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, first as part of a multi-disciplinary research institute (Centre for Design) focused on climate change adaption and mitigation, and then undertaking a PhD in Sociology which she completed in 2018. Before this, she spent four years as a project and campaign manager with ICLEI Oceania, an international not-for-profit local government association working towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions and water use as well as adaptation to climate change, also based in Melbourne.
Paula’s first book Making Sense of ‘Food’ Animals: A Critical Exploration of the Persistence of Meat was published by Palgrave in 2020. She has authored and contributed to publications on a range of topics including climate change and health, energy and water consumption, technology use, waste, and meat production and consumption. Her primary interest is challenging normalized uses of nonhuman animals through politically engaged research that draws on a range of theoretical and methodological approaches, including critical theory, gender studies, intersectionality, social practices, cultural studies, posthumanism, multispecies ethnography, anarchist praxis, speculative fiction, ethology, and environmental science.