Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Social Sciences


Peter Castro

Second Advisor

Kishi A. Ducre


Critical Animal Studies, Critical Criminology, Critical Pedagogy, Disability Studies, Eco-Terrorism, Transformative Justice

Subject Categories

Social and Behavioral Sciences


This intersectional and interdisciplinary social science qualitative dissertation in six chapters is grounded in critical research and theory for the purpose of engaged public service. This project is grounded in three formal disciplines: education, criminology, and peace and conflict studies. Within those three disciplines, this project interweaves newly emerging fields of study together, including critical animal studies, eco-ability, disability studies, environmental justice, transformative justice, green criminology, anarchist studies, and critical criminology, This dissertation adopts three qualitative methodologies; autoethnography, case study, and critical pedagogy. My project uses the animal advocacy movement as its case study. Using a critical pedagogy methodology, I explored why and how activists respond to the stigmatization of being labeled as or associated with terrorists, a process I refer to as "terrorization." Chapter One is an introduction to global ecological conditions and post-September 11, 2001 US political repressive conditions toward environmental and animal advocates. Chapter Two introduces the three methodologies that employed for this research project: autoethnography, case study, and critical pedagogy. Chapter Three argues that stigmatization is a form of repression grounded from personal experiences and examined by means of autoethnography disability studies, and critical criminology. Chapter Four, introduces the case study of this dissertation: critical animal studies, which is influenced by green criminology and anarchist studies. In Chapter Five, through a critical pedagogical methodology, fourteen participants engage in a dialogue on responding to political repression. Finally, in Chapter Six, two new concepts are introduced to interweave all the fields of study and topics in the dissertation together--eco-ability, a theory rooted in disability studies, critical animal studies, and ecology, and transformative justice, a restorative, liberatory, and empowering alternative justice system.


Open Access