Indiana Courses

Ball State University


A History of Animals in the Atlantic World

Abel Alves

The anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss once wrote that animals are not only good to eat, they are good to think. Throughout the course of human history, people have interacted with other animals, not only using them for food, clothing, labor and entertainment, but also associating with them as pets and companions, and even appreciating their behaviors intrinsically. Nonhuman animals have been our symbols and models, and they have even channeled the sacred for us. This course will explore the interaction of humans with other animals in the context of the Atlantic World from prehistoric times to the present. Our case studies will include an exploration of our early hominid heritage as prey as well as predators; our domestication of other animals to fit our cultural needs; how nonhuman animals were used and sometimes respected in early agrarian empires like those of Rome and the Aztecs; how Native American, African and Christian religious traditions have wrestled with the concept of the animal; the impact of the Enlightenment and Darwinian thought; and the contemporary mechanization of life and call for animal rights. Throughout the semester, we will be giving other animals voice, even as Aristotle in The Politics said they possessed the ability to communicate. We will also explore who we are as a unique species and what we share with other animals.


Indiana State University


Ethics and Animals
Environmental Ethics

Judith Barad


Indiana University-Bloomington

Religious Studies

Science, Religion, and the Environment

Lisa Sideris

Examines arguments that hold scientific and religious world views responsible for our environmental crisis and the devaluation of nonhuman animal life. The structure of the course follows a thesis-antithesis-synthesis format. We start with a historical survey of Christian thinkers (Augustine, Aquinas, Calvin, Luther) up to and including modern Christian thinkers who have been criticized by environmentalists. We then cover scientific thinkers, such as Bacon and Descartes, and modern physicists. The third section involves a reconsideration of the thesis that science and/or religion have been responsible for environmental problems and disregard for animals. We look at thinkers both in science and religion who have contributed positively to the human-nature relationship, both in the past and present.


The literary and legal animal

Alyce Miller

Animals and Ethics

Alyce Miller


Through a variety of readings across disciplines, this course engages specific questions about our beliefs about, and interactions and relationships with animals philosophically, religiously, historically, legally, and scientifically, with readings drawn from a wide range of philosophers, ethicists, ethologists, scientists, lawyers, religious thinkers, fiction writers, poets, essayists and filmmakers. Invited guest speakers and “animal friends” add their perspectives. The course examines pet owning, wildlife preservation, hunting, farming, research, zoos and aquaria, and law and activism.


Indiana University-Purdue University

School of Public and Environmental Affairs

Animal Rights

Kenna Quinet

Purdue University MS and PhD in Animal Welfare and Human-Animal Interaction

Graduate students may opt to pursue their studies in either Animal Welfare or Human-Animal Interaction within the Department of Comparative Pathobiology. The objective of the training program is to prepare students for careers in research, teaching, extension/engagement and service related to the sciences of Animal Welfare and/or Human-Animal Interaction. The core aim of the Animal Welfare program is to facilitate the well-being of animals through understanding and applying concepts pertaining to animal ethology, physiology, psychology, husbandry and management, ethics and economics. The core aim of the Human-Animal Interaction program is to evaluate both the beneficial and adverse effects of interactions between humans and animals for both the human and animal counterparts. Related topics include: animal-assisted intervention, service animals, dog bite prevention, zoonotic diseases, and broken bonds between humans and animals. Employment following degrees in either or both areas may be in a variety of institutions, such as academia, industry, or private practice.  Courses include:

CPB 48000 – Seminars in Animal Welfare and Human-Animal Interaction (3 credits)
CPB 58000 – Applied Animal Welfare, 3 credits
CPB 58000 – Seminars in Animal Welfare and Human-Animal Interaction (3 credits)
CPB 61800 – Ethical Issues in Biomedical Research (2 or 3 credits)*
CPB 62600 – Design and Analysis of Epidemiological Studies (3 credits)
CPB 69500 – Seminar in Epidemiology (1 credit)
CPB 69700 – CPB Research Seminar (0 or 1 credit) (required by department)
ANSC 59500 – Advanced Animal Welfare Assessment (3 credits)
BIOL 55900 – Endocrinology (3 credits)
BIOL 59200 – The Evolution Of Behavior (3 credits)
GRAD 61200 – Responsible Conduct of Research (1 credit)*
HDFS 61500 – Research Methods In Child And Family Study (3 credits)
PHIL 52400 – Contemporary Ethical Theory (3 credits)
PSY 50000 – Statistical Methods Applied To Psychology, Education, And Sociology (3 credits)
PSY 59100 – Hormones and Behavior (3 credits)
PSY 65300 – Social Development (3 credits)
STAT 50300 – Statistical Methods for Biology (3 credits)
STAT 51400 – Design of experiments (3 credits)

Other courses include:

Animals, Society, and Education

Nadine Dolby

The purpose of this course is to examine the relationship among animals, society, and education. We will examine how humans are socialized to understand their relationship to different species and types of animals through formal and non-formal education, and the different roles and purposes of animals in society. We will then discuss current scientific advances in the areas of animal sentience, cognition, and emotion, the paradigms of animal welfare and animal rights, and the changing status of animals in society.

American Studies

Animals in American History and Culture

Paula Tarankow

Any kindergartner can tell you that dogs live in doghouses, squirrels live in parks, and pigs live on farms. But this hasn’t always been true: animals have a dynamic history. Surveying human-animal relations from the colonial era to the present shows, for example, how some animals became household pets, while others, such as the squirrel, transitioned from a domestic pet and courtship gift to a cherished fixture of urban environments. We will step back into a time when pigs were the “gangs” that roamed the streets of New York and horses penned their autobiographies—with a little help from animal welfare reformers. By incorporating human-animal relationships into American history, this course considers how animals have helped define what it means to be human and what it means to be American. We will also survey key transitions in attitudes toward the treatment and use of animals and explore how these attitudes help reveal how people think about race and rights. Interdisciplinary materials will help place modern attitudes toward animals into historical and cultural contexts. We will study animal histories through three themes in American history: reform, race, and rights. Specifically, we will investigate: human- and animal-centered reform movements and where they have overlapped historically; the social and cultural construction of race and genealogies of racial discourses; and the co-evolution of human rights and animal rights. The course is divided into five thematic units: (1) Why Study Animals? (2) The Human/Animal Boundary; (3) Animal Lessons; (4) The Human-Animal Bond; and (5) Animal Ethics.


Ethics and Animals

Lilly-Marlene Russow

An exploration through the study of historical and contemporary philosophical writings of basic moral issues as they apply to our treatment of animals. Rational understanding of the general philosophical problems raised by practices such as experimentation on animals and meat-eating are emphasized.

Environmental Ethics

Lilly-Marlene Russow

An introduction to philosophical issues surrounding debates about the environment and our treatment of it. Topics may include endangered species, the “triangular affair” between animal rights and environmental ethics, the scope and limits of cost-benefit analyses and duties to future generations. This course was first offered in 1980.

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