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Arizona Colleges

Arizona State University

Women’s Studies

Human-Animal Studies

Meredith Clark

This course will explore the field of Human-Animal Studies from an interdisciplinary, intersectional, feminist perspective. Animals will be situated in conversation with gender, race, class, sexuality, and (dis)ability. The course covers topics that address the social construction of animals, animals as celebrities, assistants, technologies, meat, pets, consumer and commodity, violence to animals, the interlocking systems of human oppression and animal suffering, speciesism as well as the role of animals in research, sports, religion, folklore, film, art, the law, literature and philosophy. Human-animal interactions in the home and workplace as well as within geographies, national narratives and ideologies will be addressed. The course will interrogate not only how the animal is constructed in relationship to humans and society, but also how humanity itself is narrowly defined and situated in an oftentimes-contradictory space with animal others. While culture and human-animal interactions will be emphasized, the interaction of nature/biology and culture will be addressed as well. It will engage with multiple mediums, feature guest lecturers from a wide range of disciplines and perspectives and will allow ample time for discussion.

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