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Email: hugosson at


Office: Alumni Hall 403B

Areas of Interest

animal studies; critical animal studies; conditioned speciesism; ecofeminism; representations of nonhuman animals in media; ecolinguistics and sociolinguistics; gender, race, and sexuality; empathetic anthropomorphism; compassionate conservation; multispecies ethnography


Student, Department of Anthropology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Anthrozoology, Canisius College, 2019

Hispanic Linguistics, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 2012


Before returning to Carolina, I was as a manager at a municipal animal shelter. This work coincided with my Master’s Degree in Anthrozoology, through which I was introduced to social science and humanities-based strategies of exploring human-animal relationships from ethical, political, and cultural points of view. While I have a keen interest in animal sheltering as a result of my professional experience, my primary research interest is the human dimensions of wildlife. I am especially interested in community perceptions of vilified species, including predators and “pest” animals. I also advocate for pit bull-type dogs, which is the natural result of my interest in nonhuman animal “villains,” my animal shelter work, and my personal experience as a guardian of three pit bull-type dogs. In fact, this life experience has significantly impacted my studies and driven my interest into the narrativity of animals who are widely disliked.

Research Interests

I am a sociocultural anthrozoologist interested in analyzing conditioned speciesism through an intersectional, critical animal studies lens. I consider how and why certain nonhuman animals are vilified and ultimately rendered “killable” by how they are portrayed and perceived in their respective communities. My research is influenced by contemporary biopolitical theory and ecofeminist theory. I explore the intersectionality of, among others: gender, race, and sexuality; eco-nationalism and xenophobia; and language.

Selected Publications


(Under review) The “Unnatural,” “Immoral” Hyena and the Implications for Conservation Strategy. Accepted to the forthcoming Gender and Sexuality in Critical
Animal Studies


The Anthropomorphized Hyena in Media and the Implications for
Conservation Strategy. Unpublished MS Thesis, Canisius College, Buffalo, NY.

Recent Presentations

“Secretarybird symbolism in South Africa: Connecting
indigeneity, identity politics, linguistic imperialism, and contemporary
concerns about conservation.” Decolonizing Animals:
Australasian Animal Studies Association Conference
, July 2, 2019. Christchurch, New Zealand.

“The Feminization of Pit Bull Advocacy in the United
States.” Animal/Language: An Interdisciplinary Conference, March 22, 2019. Lubbock, TX.