Animal Edutainment in a Neoliberal Era

Animal Edutainment in a Neoliberal Era

Politics, Pedagogy, and Practice in the Contemporary Aquarium

Teresa Lloro


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Animal Edutainment in a Neoliberal Era is a rich and beautifully written multispecies ethnographic monograph that explores pedagogy and practice at a Southern California aquarium housing and displaying over 10,000 animals. Drawing on extensive interviews with aquarium staff and visitors, as well as fieldwork interacting with and observing human-animal interactions, the book demonstrates the complex ways in which aquarium animals are politically deployed in teaching and learning processes. Weaving together insights from anthropology, critical geography, environmental education, and political ecology, Teresa Lloro crafts a three-pronged "political ecology of education lens," illuminating how neoliberal ideologies interact at various scales (local, regional, national, and global) to deeply shape aquarium decision-making and practice. Acknowledging that neoliberalism enrolls humans and other animals in teaching and learning in new and often poorly understood ways, this study challenges the anthropocentrism of contemporary informal educational approaches, suggesting that imaginative ways forward will require a paradigm shift in regarding the role of animals in education.


Teresa Lloro:

Teresa Lloro received a PhD in education, society, and culture from the University of California, Riverside. She is Assistant Professor in the Liberal Studies Department at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona. Lloro recently received a California Humanities Grant for her work with community-based food justice coalitions. She is also the co-editor of Animals in Environmental Education: Interdisciplinary Approaches to Curriculum and Pedagogy.