Debra Merskin, PhD - Professor, University of Oregon
Television programs, movies, and ads often feature animals, particularly dogs. This triggers the production and adoptions of hundreds of puppies who are later abandoned because they don’t behave the same ways as their on-screen peers. Many of the dogs are purposefully bred in response to consumer demand and find long-term loving homes, but thousands of others are bred, adopted, and abandoned once the fad fades and people are left with a being who requires many years of care. This presentation will discuss a brief history of using animals in media, the impact on animals, and the crisis for humane societies and care groups who work to save them.
About our Speaker:
Debra Merskin is Professor of Media Studies in the School of Journalism & Communication at the University of Oregon. With a focus on ethics, Debra teaches courses on Nature and the Media, Animals and the Media. Her most recent book is "Seeing Species: Re-presentations of Animals in the Media and Popular Culture" (2018, Peter Lang). Her research and teaching focus on intersectional race- and gender-based theories and examine exclusion or stereotyping by media of marginalized human beings as well as animals other than humans. She is the co-creator of the style guide for journalists and other professional communicators interested in respectful and accurate portrayals of animals in media at animalsandmedia.org.
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