Associate Professor Helena Pedersen

Helena Pedersen, Ph.D. in Education, is a Associate Professor in the Department of Child and Youth Studies, Stockholm University. Principally, her research focuses on human-animal relations as an area of critical inquiry in education research. She is interested in how the formal education system relates to, and works on, its human and nonhuman subjects, and how, moreover, animals figure in the production, mediation, and dissemination of knowledge more generally. Through posthumanist theories she explores how the dynamics, affects, materialities and institutions of animal use intra-act in and through the daily activities of the school. She critically analyzes how power relations take shape between students, teachers, animals, and the education system as such, but also how tensions and instabilities in these power relations may produce spin-off effects that work in indeterminate directions.  

Helena is author of Animals in Schools: Processes and Strategies in Human-Animal Education(Purdue University Press, 2010), which received the Critical Animal Studies Book of the Year Award in 2010. Helena Pedersen has published in journals such as International Journal of Qualitative Studies in EducationStudies in Philosophy and EducationCulture, Theory and CritiquePolicy Futures in Education, and Culture and Organization, and is currently finalizing her research project on animal science education and critical posthumanist theory.

Helena is Co-editor (with Vasile Stănescu, Mercer University) of the Critical Animal Studies book series (Rodopi) and serves on the editorial board of Other Education: The Journal of Educational Alternatives.

Her course Critical Animal Studies: Animals in Society, Culture and the Media, co-developed and taught with Tobias Linné at Lund University, received the “Distinguished New Animals and Society Course Award” by the Humane Society of the United States in 2012.

Together with Tobias Linné and Amelie Björck she coordinates the research theme “Exploring ‘the Animal Turn’: Changing perspectives on human-animal relations in science, society and culture”, funded by the Pufendorf Institute for Advanced Studies at Lund University 2013-14

Helena’s email address:


Pedersen, H. (2010). Animals in Schools: Processes and Strategies in Human-Animal Education. West Lafayette, Indiana: Purdue University Press.

Peer-reviewed journal articles

Pedersen, H. (forthcoming). “Parasitic pedagogies and materialities of affect in veterinary education.” Emotion, Space and Society.

Pedersen, H. (2013). “Follow the Judas sheep: Materializing Post-Qualitative Methodology in Zooethnographic Space.” International Journal of Qualitative Studies in Education 26(6): 717-731.

Pedersen, H. (2012). “Education, Animals, and the Commodity Form.” Culture and Organization 18(5): 415-432.

Pedersen, H. (2012). “Undercover education: Mice, mimesis, and parasites in the teaching machine.” Studies in Philosophy and Education31(4): 365-386.

Pedersen, H. (2011). “Counting Affects: Mo(ve)ments of intensity in critical avian education.”  Canadian Journal of Environmental Education 16: 14-28.

Pedersen, H. (2011). “Release the Moths: Critical Animal Studies and the Posthumanist Impulse.” Culture, Theory and Critique 52(1): 65-81.

Pedersen, H. (2010). “Animals on Display: The zoocurriculum of museum exhibits.” Critical Education 1(8).

Pedersen, H. (2010). “Education policymaking for social change: A posthumanist intervention.” Policy Futures in Education 8(6): 683-696.

Pedersen, H. (2010). “Terror from the stare: Visual landscapes of meat production.” Antennae: The Journal of Nature in Visual Culture 14: 34-38.   

Pedersen, H. (2010). “Is ‘the Posthuman’ Educable? On the convergence of educational philosophy, animal studies, and posthumanist theory.” Discourse: Studies in the Cultural Politics of Education 31(2), May 2010:  237-250.

Book chapters

Stănescu, V. & Pedersen, H. (in press). “Future Directions for Critical Animal Studies.” In N. Taylor & R. Twine (Eds.), From the Margins to the Centre? The Rise of Critical Animal Studies. Routledge.

Linné, T. & Pedersen, H. (in press). “’Expanding My Universe’: Critical Animal Studies Education as Theory, Politics and Practice.” In J. Sorenson (Ed.), Thinking the Unthinkable: New Readings in Critical Animal Studies. Canadian Scholars Press.

Pedersen, H. (2011). “Animals and education research: Enclosures and openings.” In P. Segerdahl (Ed.), Undisciplined Animals: Invitations to Animal Studies: 11-26. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

Pedersen, H. & Dian, N. (2010). “Earth Trusts – a quality vision for animals?” In R. Acampora (Ed.), Metamorphoses of the Zoo: Animal Encounter After Noah: 171-192. Lanham: Lexington Books.

Andrzejewski, J., Pedersen, H. & Wicklund, F. (2009). “Interspecies Education for Humans, Animals, and the Earth.” In J. Andrzejewski, M. Baltodano & L. Symcox (Eds.), Social Justice, Peace, and Environmental Education: Transformative Standards: 136-154. New York and London: Routledge.

Pedersen, H. (2009). “Posthumanist Challenges to Education Theory and Practice.” In T. Holmberg (Ed.), Investigating Human-Animal Relations in Science, Culture and Work: 56-67. Crossroads of Knowledge 10. Centre for Gender Research: Uppsala University.

Pedersen, H. (2008). “Learning to Measure the Value of Life? Animal experimentation, pedagogy, and (eco)feminist critique.” In R. Sollund (Ed.), Global Harms. Ecological Crime and Speciesism: 131-149. New York: Nova Science Publishers.

Pedersen, H. (2008). “’We have to kill the animals so that they won’t die!’ Classroom discussions about hunting as a dimension of ESD.” In J. Öhman (Ed.), Values and Democracy in Education for Sustainable Development: 145-164. Malmö: Liber.