Dr Paula Arcari


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:

  1. Examine the mechanisms by which the constitution of othered ‘natures’ as resources for visual consumption is normalised and made mundane, and
  2. Challenge human-nature binaries in ways that are still largely non-existent in non-/post-/more-than-human conceptions and evaluations of associated relations.

Previous work

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, also based in Melbourne. Paula’s 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.


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.


Arcari, P. (2019). Making Sense of ‘Food’ Animals: A critical exploration of the persistence of  meat. Palgrave Macmillan.

Book chapters

Arcari, P. (2018). The Ethical Masquerade: (Un)masking mechanisms of power behind ‘ethical’ meat. In, Phillipov, M. and Kirkwood K. (Eds) Alternative Food Politics: From the Margins to the Mainstream. Routledge.

Arcari, P. (2018). Dynamic non-human animals in theories of practice: views from the subaltern. In, Maller C. andStrengers, Y. (Eds) Social Practices and Dynamic Non-Humans: Nature, Materials and Technologies. Palgrave Macmillan.

Book reviews

Arcari, P. (2019). Media and Food Industries: The New Politics of Food, by Michelle Phillipov. Media Industries Journal. 6(1): http://dx.doi.org/10.3998/mij.15031809.0006.111

Journal articles

Arcari, P. (2021) The Covid pandemic, ‘pivotal’ moments, and persistent anthropocentrism: Interrogating the (il)legitimacy of critical animal perspectives. Animal Studies Journal, 10(1): 186-239.

Arcari, P., Probyn-Rapsey, F., and Singer, H. (2020). Where species don’t meet: Invisibilized animals, urban nature and city limits. Environment and Planning E: Nature and Space. OnlineFirst

Strengers, Y., Kennedy, J., Arcari, P. Nicholls, L., and Gregg, M. (2019) Protection, Productivity and Pleasure in the Smart Home: Emerging Expectations and Gendered Insights from Australian Early Adopters. CHI 2019, 4-9 May, Glasgow. ACM. Recipient: CHI 2019 Best Paper award.

Arcari, P (2017) Perverse visibilities? Foregrounding non-human animals in ‘ethical’ and ‘sustainable’ meat consumption. The Brock Review, 13(1): 24-52

Arcari, P. (2017) Normalised, human-centric discourses of meat and animals in climate change, sustainability and food security literature. Agriculture and Human Values, 34(1): 69-86 DOI: 10.1007/s10460-016-9697-0

Arcari, P. & Tapper, N. (2017) The variable impact of ENSO events on regional dengue/DHF in Indonesia. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 38(1): 5-24. DOI: 10.1111/sjtg.12179

Arcari, P., Tapper, N. and Pfueller, S. (2007) Variability in Relationships between Climate and Dengue/DHF in Indonesia. Singapore Journal of Tropical Geography, 28(3): 251-272

Other (reports, policy briefs and blogs)

Arcari , P. (2020) COVI-19 shows why we need to ‘cease and desist’ from commodifying animals. Medium – Age of Awareness. Online, 11 April. https://medium.com/age-of-awareness/covid-19-shows-why-we-need-to-ceaseand-desist-from-commodifying-animals-c042e6eb5be5

Farahani, L., Arcari, P., English, A., and Maller, C. (2019) Residents’ perceptions and use of Sheils Reserve pregreening. Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University, Melbourne.

Strengers, Y, Nicholls, L. Glover, A., Arcari P., and Martin R. (2019) Engaging households towards the Future Grid: An Engagement Strategy for the Energy Sector, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University, Melbourne.

Nicholls, L., Arcari P., Glover, A., Martin R., and Strengers Y. (2019) Engaging households towards the Future Grid: experiences, expectations and emerging trends, Centre for Urban Research, RMIT University, Melbourne.

Strengers, Y., Kennedy, J., Nicholls, L. and Arcari, P. (2018) One reason people install smart home tech is to show off to their friends. The Conversation, 26 September: https://theconversation.com/one-reason-people-installsmart-home-tech-is-to-show-off-to-their-friends-102837

Strengers, Y., Kennedy, J., Nicholls, L. and Arcari, P. (2018) The 3Ps: Protection, Productivity & Pleasure: for Australian smart home early adopters. Centre for Urban Research and Digital Ethnography Research Centre, RMIT University, Melbourne.

Lewis, T., Wilken, R., Allan, M. and Arcari, P. (2014) Cultural Economies of Hard Rubbish. Project Report prepared for Moreland City Council

Clune, S., Horne, R., Arcari, P. and Martin, J. (2014) Sustainability appraisals of design-led responses to climate adaptation. Policy Brief. Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Research (VCCCAR). DOI: 10.13140/RG.2.2.32606.84809

Horne, R., Martel, A., Arcari, P., Foster, D. and McCormack, A. (2013) Living change: adaptive housing responses to climate change in the town camps of Alice Springs, National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF), Gold Coast, pp. 60. ISBN: 978-1-925039-57-3 NCCARF Publication 86/13

Horne, R., Biggs, C., Arcari, P., Maller, C., Strengers, Y. and Ryan C. (2012) Resilient urban systems: Lessons from community-scale infrastructure for climate change adaptation. Policy Brief 2 for Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Research (VCCCAR) – series: Climate Adaptation for Decision-Makers.

Biggs, C., Arcari, P., Strengers, Y., Horne, R. and Ryan, C. (2011), Assessing resilient urban systems to support long term adaptation to climate change. Policy Brief 1 for Victorian Centre for Climate Change Adaptation Research (VCCCAR) – series: Climate Adaptation for Decision-Makers.

Arcari, P (2010) Accelerating Sustainable Buildings. Published client report for the Department of Sustainability and Environment (DSE), Victoria.

Arcari, P. (2009) Local Government Vehicle Fleets: A national status report on the composition, management and emissions contribution of LG vehicle fleets in Australia. ICLEI Oceania, funded by the Australian Government.

Arcari, P. (2007) Biodiesel in Australia: Benefits, Issues and Opportunities for Local Government Uptake. July 2007. Peer-reviewed report based on a Victorian Government-funded research project managed by ICLEI-Oceania.

Arcari, P. (2007) Submission to Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Mandatory Ethanol and Biofuels Targets in Victoria. August. www.parliament.vic.gov.au/edic/inquiries/biofuels/call_for_submissions.html

Email: [email protected]

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