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California Colleges

California Institute of Integral Studies

Philosophy and Religion

Next of Kin: Perspectives on Animal Ethics and Biodiversity

Elizabeth Allison

Ancient spiritual wisdom and contemporary scientific findings both refute Descartes’ assertion that nonhuman animals are automatons devoid of consciousness or feeling. Nonetheless, the view of animals as machines undergirds many of our modern practices, such as factory farming and animal experimentation. Beyond practices that impose harm on particular animals, human misapprehension of interconnection has allowed the reduction of the richness and diversity of other forms of life.  This accelerating biodiversity loss has been identified as a scientific problem of great urgency.   Nonhuman and human life are inextricably interdependent.  Interdependence includes the profound influence of diverse life on human systems of thought, including aesthetics, symbolism, communication, and spirituality.  How can we expand our philosophical frameworks to encompass the interrelationships among humans, animals, and the biosphere? How can we extend frameworks of justice to include nonhuman beings? What is the relationship between sexism, racism, and “speciesism”? How can we better align our spiritual, philosophical, and ecological wisdom with our actual practices toward other species?


California State Polytechnic University, Pomona

Education and Integrative Studies

Animal Assisted Interventions and Education

Aubrey Fine

This is a graduate class geared for educators and those working in schools.


California State University, Bakersfield


People, and Other Animals

Carol Raupp

Examines peoples’ attitudes toward other animal species and the current psychological research describing our differing relationships with companion animals, animals used for food, animals used in research, sports, or entertainment, and so-called “wild” animals. This course is now available online to students everywhere.



Environmental Psychology

Carol Raupp


California State University Long Beach


Human Animal Relationships in Historical Perspective

Brett Mizelle

This seminar on the literature of history is designed to engage with a wide-range of scholarship on the history of the relationships between human and non-human animals. This literature, sometimes grouped under the rubric “animal studies” (a term that, as we will see, comes with its own problems), emerged as a subset of social, cultural, and environmental history, although parallel inquiries into the human use and “thinkability” of non-human animals were occurring in anthropology, literary studies, and the biological sciences. Much of the work in this emergent interdisciplinary field has been, like the social and cultural history before it, connected to larger social movements, many of relatively recent vintage. The term “speciesism”-used to connote prejudice against non-human animals similar in kind to racism and sexism-was only coined in 1970, for example, when there was a renewed interest in the idea of animal protection and animal rights. In this seminar we will trace the rise of interest in the welfare of animals and the subsequent shift toward the idea that non-human animals may deserve some of the same moral and legal considerations typically extended to humans. In the process, we will necessarily interrogate the relationship between the past and the present, which explains why several of our readings and texts are not traditional historical monographs.



Animals in American Culture

Brett Mizelle

Interdisciplinary examination of the role of non-human animals in making cultural meaning. Traces the many ways in which animals, not just humans, have shaped American history and culture.


California State University, Northridge


Humans & Animals

Sabina Magliocco

This is a capstone seminar in Cultural Anthropology with an emphasis on Applied Anthropology – the application of anthropological skills and principles to help solve human problems.  This semester, we will be exploring the relationships between humans and other animals from the earliest days of hunter-gatherers, to the development of domestication and its consequences, to the emergence of post-domesticity and new perspectives on animals, such as the animal welfare movement, animal rights, vegetarianism, and the emerging field of animal studies.  We will take an interdisciplinary perspective on the study of human-animal relations, drawing from literature in anthropology as well as sociology, history, critical theory, feminist theory and other approaches, as well as focusing on current issues in human-animal relationships and how anthropology provides useful tools to address them.


California State University, San Bernardino


Contemporary Ethical Issues

Rich Booher


Claremont School of Theology

Animal Theology, Animal Ethics: Rethinking Human-Animal Relations

Grace Yia-Hei Kao

Animal studies (a.k.a. human-animal studies) represents the cutting edge of academe, as scholars from a wide variety of disciplines are increasingly acknowledging that we can no longer bracket the question of the animal if we are to live truly examined lives. This course provides a serious engagement with philosophical and theological discourse on the ethical status of nonhuman animals as well as the nature and extent of human obligations toward them. As we raise classical philosophical, theological, and legal/public policy questions about animals (e.g., can animals be directly wronged? Does/did God delight in animal sacrifices?), we will discover that we are simultaneously raising perennial questions about the human condition.


Religious Studies

Vegan/Vegetarian Non-Violence: Ahimsa in Theory

Grace Yia-Hei Kao


Humboldt State University

Ethics, Animals, and the Environment

Mary I. Bockover


Natural Resources

Introduction to Wildlife Conservation & Administration

Richard N. Brown


Natural Resources

Wildlife Policy & Animal Welfare

Richard N. Brown


Natural Resources

Environmental Ethics

Richard N. Brown


Loyola Marymount

Environmental Studies

Environmental Studies Capstone Seminar

Mona Seymour


Religious Studies

Ecology and Theology

Christopher Chapple

In this course we will explore the responses to ecological degradation from a variety of the world’s religious traditions. We will also engage in service projects that relate to actions being taken to correct and improve the environment . The course will begin with an overview of how the world’s religious traditions are responding to such issues as global climate change, rising species extinctions, issues over access to clean water, and the effects of chemicals within the environment.


Enhancement Courses

Teaching about the Interaction of Humans and Other Animals

George Jacobs

Human interactions with our fellow animals have a major impact on other animals and on us. This course explores how these interactions can be included in our teaching. Topics include a debate about animals in schools, exploring literature, movies, tv and cartoon interactions as well as food, disease, communities and service learning. Online Course


Enhancement Courses

Do Dogs Smile? A Study of Animal Intelligence and Emotions

This course is designed to provide an overview of animal intelligence and emotion, and evidence of these traits. Included materials provide an intimate look at Koko demonstrating her ability to communicate in sign language, an examination of animal intelligence and emotion in the wild with observations of wolves, chimps and great apes; and a revealing talk with a professor of marine science who specializes in dolphin intelligence.


Sacramento City College

Animal Behavior and Cognition

Chris T. Tromborg

Animal Behavior and Cognition is a course designed for everyone who is interested in, or who has ever lived with and loved animals. In fact, those pursuing a variety of careers will find this course interesting and useful. The course consists of a broad survey of general topics and current research in the related fields of animal behavior, animal cognition, animal communication, neuroethology, ethology, comparative psychology, ecology, behavioral ecology, interactions between human and nonhuman animals, and conservation biology. Topics addressed in this course include: The philosophy of science; evolutionary concepts; history of the relationship between nonhuman animals and humans; animal behavior; animal sensation; animal communication; communication between humans and other animals; animals as competitors and resources; research animals and bioethics, animals as companions; animals in therapy and service; animal contributions to human health and well‑being; animal learning and training; animals in zoos; the behavior of captive wild animals; observing and analyzing behavior; and the future prospects for positive interactions between humans and other animals.Animal behavior and Cognition will particularly interest those students wishing to explore how scientists study communication between human beings and other species. The course addresses issues underlying claims to alleged human uniqueness. It explores the bases of comparisons used to establish the degrees of similarity and difference between humans and nonhumans. This course is designed to foster a better understanding of the relationship between humans and nonhumans, nurture a respect for nonhuman animals, develop a better appreciation for animal behavior, create a respect for animal cognition, and to create an ethic which emphasizes a respect for all life as humans take their place within the animal kingdom.
Saybrook University


Non-Human Consciousness

Jacquie Lewis

This independent study course, which is part of the Applied Consciousness Certificate, focuses on both research and anecdotal cases having to do with positive non-human cognitions and emotions. Animals regularly demonstrate cooperation, sharing, and care for each other. On occasion, these traits have also been known to occur when different species interact. Some topics include:
• Non-humans display empathy
• Non-humans experience self- awareness
• Non-humans do complex problem solving
• Non-humans exhibit strong social networks
• Non-humans grieve
• Non-humans show ethical play
• Non-humans communicate and some communicate with humans
• Non-humans have personality
• Non-humans have a sense of the past and future
• Non-humans not only use tools but make tools
• Non-humans demonstrate intuition

University of California Berkeley


Animals in Literature and Theory

Justin Eichenlaub

This course engages the question of the animal through novels, poetry, philosophy, theory, film, painting and photography, and popular culture. Our approach will be to examine and track major trends in the burgeoning field of animal studies, allowing us to think about how animals are represented in cultural products and how contemporary philosophers and theorists are re-imagining human-animal relations. To rethink the being and ‘meaning’ of animals also entails revisiting the idea of “the human.” While this class engages with fictional and philosophical questions, we’re going to take the everyday, embodied repercussions of these ideas seriously. Some of our particular topics will include the relationship of literary and artistic form to ethical arguments (particularly in Coetzee’s Lives of Animals and Safran Foer’s Eating Animals); questions of what role animals should play in our lives through Donna Harraway’s ideas of companion species; Franz Kafka’s short story “Report to an Academy,” about a humanistic ape; Lydia Millet’s powerful novel How the Dead Dream which links questions of species extinctions with human loss; and we’ll visit the Oakland Zoo to consider this eminently-Victorian and colonial means of ‘making the animal visible.’


Women’s Studies

Men, Women and Other Animals

Mel Chen

This course explores various ways that human groups and interests, particularly in the United States, have both attached and divorced themselves from other animals, with particular focus on gender, race, ability, and sexuality as the definitional foils for human engagements with animality.


University of California, Davis

Animal Science

Animal Welfare

Joy Mench

Examines animal welfare from the animals’ point of view. Who are animals, and what can they (do they) experience? Which practices compromise their welfare, and which do not? How can management practices and environments be modified to improve the welfare of animals?


Wild Child: Children and Animals

Mike Ziser

In the modern adult world it is very easy to get through an entire day without encountering the faintest reminder of the existence of the nonhuman world. But take a step inside the average child’s bedroom and you will find an incredible array of creatures—goldfish and teddy bears, cartoon chipmunks and puppy slippers, elephant noises and monkey business—spilling from every corner. It is almost as if one comes of age precisely by stepping through a filter that strips one of any animal fellow travelers. How did this happen, and what does it mean? This course will explore how ideas about animals come to be mixed up with ideas about childhood in the modern West, as well as how adulthood comes to be something from which the animal is necessarily absent. We will look carefully at tales of feral children, chimpanzees raised by humans, Teddy Bears®, Bambi’s life on the streets of fin de siècle Vienna, Tarzan, “wire mothers”, neotenic cartoon animals, and Nature Deficit Disorder, among other wild and wonderful things. By the end, we will have a much deeper understanding of what our civilization has told us it means to be animal and human, child and adult.


Veterinary Medicine

Ethics of Animal Use

Joy Mench

Covers such concepts as moral good, pain and suffering, welfare evaluation, and animal minds. Other topics include limits on human right to use animals, use of animals in research, ethics and behavioral research, views of researchers and veterinarians, alternatives to animal use, and rules and regulations.


Veterinary Medicine

Human-Animal Interactions: Benefits and Issues

Lynette Hart

The contributions of animals to human society, including historic, anthropologic, developmental, human health and therapeutic perspectives, as well as effects of humans on animals.


Veterinary Medicine

Ethics of Animal Use

Jerrold Tannenbaum


Veterinary Medicine

Human-Animal Interactions in Veterinary Science

Lynette A. Hart


American Studies

Nature and Culture in America

Julie Sze



Animals and Human Culture

Juliana Schiesari


University of California, Irvine

Political Science

The Politics of Animal Rights

Claire Kim

This course examines the animal rights/welfare movement’s efforts to transform the moral, practical, and legal standing of nonhuman animals in the contemporary U.S. Topics to be covered include: philosophical debates about the moral status of animals; current knowledge about animal minds and emotions; factory farming; the use of animals in scientific experimentation and product testing; the use of animals for human entertainment; the ethics of vegetarianism and veganism; competing ideologies and strategies within the animal rights/welfare movement; and the connections among speciesism, sexism, and racism.


Political Science

Race, Gender, Species

Claire Kim

This class examines the intersections among race, gender, and species in Western culture.  Questions to be addressed include: How have the categories of race, gender, and species been constructed and reproduced in intimate relation to one another?  How have bodies categorized as nonwhite, nonmale, and/or nonhuman been imagined, exploited, and subjugated historically?  To what degree and in what ways has the domestication of nonhuman animals served as the template for modes of treatment toward nonwhites and women?  What are the connections (or lack thereof) among justice struggles on behalf of groups of color, women, and nonhuman animals today?  What happens when these justice struggles collide and proponents of racial equality, sex equality, and species equality find themselves at odds?  Do ecological perspectives offer a way to integrate these struggles or do they in fact work against some or all of them?


University of California, San Diego

Latin American Literature

Latin American Literature in Translation: Brazilian Humanimals: Species and Postcoloniality in Brazilian Literature

Alexandra Isfahani-Hammond

This course looks at Brazilian texts wherein representations of animals intersect with postcolonial (racialized, classed and gendered) power relations. Situating our readings vis-a-vis other media-essays, cinema, music–we will consider the animal not simply as metaphor for “human” objectification but question precisely the human/ animal divide that enables colonialist   systems of domination. Though we will focus principally on Brazilian texts, we will situate them in the context of cross-cultural discussions in ecocriticism and species studies. How do gender, race and species intersect in literary representations? What is at stake in scrutinizing the ethical dimensions of human/ animal relations?


University of California, Santa Barbara

Environmental Sciences

Animals in Human Society: Ethical Issues of Animal Use

Jo-Ann Shelton

Identification and exploration of the ethical issues which arise when humans interact with other animals. Analysis of the philosophical debates about the moral status of animals, and examination of the controversies surrounding the extension of human rights concepts to non-human animals. Discussion of conflicting attitudes toward the value of animal life in such specific areas as food production, scientific research, recreational activities, pet ownership, and environmental protection.



Interspecies Collaboration

Lisa Jevbratt

Interspecies Collaboration is an experimental and experiential class exploring the possibility of making art projects together with animals. The focus of the class is on finding, communicating and working together with other species. The projects can be manifested in a wide range of media and genres, they can be performative, visual, conceptual etc. They should make us aware of, and facilitate, an intellectual, emotional and spiritual partnership with the species around us.


University of California, Santa Cruz

Science Studies/Feminism

Animal Studies as Science Studies

Donna Haraway


History of Consciousness

Plants, Animals, Science, Food, and Justice

Donna Haraway

This course is organized around the knots of plants, animals, knowledges, people, markets, research institutions, justice projects, and daily life that come together in practices of eating.  Food is at the heart of the quarter.  Students will begin by keeping a detailed diary of everything they eat and then write an account of the worlds brought into play by the entries in that diary.


History of Consciousness

When Species Meet: Categories, Encounters, and Co-Shapings

Donna Haraway

Consider related, but non-isomorphic, constitutive binaries prominent in western traditions that have focused feminist attention:  Man/woman, human/animal, culture/nature, white/color, civilized/primitive, mind/body, sight/touch, normal/abnormal, etc. Themes:  Thickening inter-sectionality in feminist theory, “human exceptionalism,” defining species relationally, animalization/racialization/beastialization, “we are what we eat,” ethics for human animals, metamorphoses within a philosophical tradition. What does feminist theory have to say about species, human-animal co-shapings, and the problem of categories for humans and animals?  To morph Bruno Latour’s “we have never been modern,” I suggest that we have never been human.  Post-humanism and the posthuman do not get this point.  What happens if the ontological dance is companion species all the way down?


University of Redlands Human-Animal Studies Minor

Human-Animal Studies (HAST) is a rapidly growing interdisciplinary field devoted to examining and critically evaluating the relationships between humans and nonhuman animals, be these relationships historical or contemporary, factual or fictional, real or symbolic, beneficial or detrimental. In exploring these relationships, we acquire a greater understanding of the ways in which animals figure in our lives and we in theirs. As our understanding of ecology and the fundamental interconnectedness of all living beings continues to grow, the importance of studying human-animal interactions becomes ever more evident. All students with an interest in the interactions between humans and animals are encouraged to consider a Human-Animal Studies minor. This minor will have an especially practical use for students pursuing careers related to wild or domesticated animals, such as animals in laboratory science, zoos, shelters, refuges, wildlife rehabilitation centers, and veterinary medicine. Courses include:


Ethics and the Environment

Kathie Jenni



Taking Animals Seriously

Kathie Jenni

A four week long internship at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary in Kanab, Utah that is grounded in study of the history, issues, philosophies, and strategies of the animal welfare movement. One and one half days per week are devoted to class time; the remaining three and one half days each week are devoted to full time work in all aspects of the Sanctuary: cleaning, feeding and watering, socializing with and exercising animals, veterinary care, adoption services, humane education, and community outreach. Students may specialize in one facet of animal care during their final two weeks.



Humans and Other Animals

Kathie Jenni



Animal ethics and service

Kathie Jenni