Missouri Courses

Drury University Forum on Animal Rights and Animal Studies Minor

This new program, funded by Bob Barker, includes courses on animal ethics, animals and the law, animals and society, and animals in literature. Beginning in 2012, Drury now offers a minor in Animal Studies. The Animal Studies minor is designed for those who are interested in gaining an in-depth understanding of diverse ways in which the lives of animals and humans intersect. The interdisciplinary nature of the minor, which consists of six classes (18 hr), allows students to consider historical and contemporary interactions between humans and animals from a range of perspectives.

Faculty include:

  • Patricia McEachern
  • Don Deeds
  • Vickie Luttrell
  • Jana Bufkin
  • Peter Browning
  • David Derossett

Courses include:

Animal Ethics

This cutting-edge multidisciplinary course is designed to acquaint the student with contemporary and historical animal-ethics/rights issues. A primary goal of the course is to raise moral consciousness about the most current conditions and uses of nonhuman animals and therein the ethical dimension of relationships between nonhuman animals and human beings. The course is structured in two sections: a) ethical theory and b) applied ethics.

Animals and Society

This course will give students the opportunity to think critically about controversial issues regarding the relationships between humans and other animals. Central to the course will be an exploration of the social construction of animals in American culture including various subcultures and the way in which these constructed social meanings shape human identity.

Animal Law I

This course will examine a wide variety of topics related to the law of animals, such as classes of animals (companion, exotic, domestic), torts (liability statutes, damages and valuation), contract law (landlord/tenant, area animal restrictions, dissolution of marriage), wills and trusts, criminal law (breeding regulations, legal vs. illegal breeding, animal cruelty), hoarding, entertainment regulations, dog fighting, the Humane Slaughter Act, the Animal Welfare Act and the Endangered Species Act. Particular attention will be paid to the topics of interest of the students enrolled.

Animals in Literature

Students explore the relationships between humans and animals through the lens of American, English, French and Latin American literature. These enjoyable and thought-provoking literary selections offer a unique entrée into the animal rights debate, which is unquestionably one of the most important ethical issues of our day. At the same time, the course is structured to pay particular attention to close reading, develop an appreciation of canonical literature and improve writing skills.


Interns must have at least 60 credit hours, completed appropriate coursework and have a minimum GPA of 2.5 prior to registering for academic credit. Also, approval must be obtained from the student’s faculty sponsor and required forms must be completed by the deadline. Note: *Architecture, Music Therapy and Education majors do not register internships through Career Planning & Development. These students need to speak with his/her advisor regarding credit requirements and options.


University of Missouri Columbia

College of Veterinary Medicine

Human-Companion Animal Interaction

Rebecca Johnson

Exploration of historical & theoretical bases of human-companion animal interaction (HAI), the nature, issues, & clinical applications of HAI. After completing the course, the student should be able to: Discuss the origins of HAIand its evolution into a scientific discipline; Identify the scientific rationale for HAI in facilitating health & well-being among humans and animals; Analyze therapeutic uses of HAI including animal assisted therapy, animal assisted activity, & service animals; Discuss issues relating to HAI in diverse populations; Delineate the role of HAI across the lifespan; Relate HAI to demographic trends in aging societies; Describe processes of integrating HAI into practice.


Webster University


Humans and Other Animals

Karla Armbruster

Almost all works of literature include animals, no doubt because of the many ways that human lives are intertwined with those of other animals. But we often don’t pay close attention to how these animals are represented in the literature we read, particularly if they exist on the peripheries of the human story rather than serving as the focus. In this course, we will put what we might call “literary beasts” in the spotlight, reading a wide variety of fiction, poetry, and essays that somehow address the relationship between humans and other animals, whether the animals function as symbols, realistic “beasts,” competitors or allies in the human struggle for existence, fellow creatures with acknowledged moral standing, or even the narrators of stories and the speakers of poems.


Perspectives: Werewolves, Seal Wives, Grizzly Men and Other Metamorphoses

Karla Armbruster

In this course, we will examine a wide variety of legends, poems, stories, and films that portray human-animal transformations, ranging from classical mythology to Kafka’s The Metamorphosis, to stories of humans being eaten by other animals. While they will come from a range of cultures and time periods, they all provide insight into the varied ways humans have relationship between themselves and other animals (and, by extension, nature), sometimes reinforcing the human-animal distinction that some philosophers say is central to our definition of the human, and other times challenging or complicating that distinction. Our goal, then, is to explore the literature of human-animal metamorphoses in order to question and explore not only our relationships with other animals but also to re-evaluate what it means to be human.

Topics in Professional Writing: Writing on Nature and Environment
Dogs and What They Tell Us about Being Human

Karla Armbruster


Contemporary Moral Problems

Robert Arp

Examines the opposing positions typically taken in discussions of contemporary moral problems, such as euthanasia, the death penalty, pornography, animal rights, and world hunger. The focus is on developing and critically analyzing reasons used to support a moral position.

Environmental Ethics

An introductory exploration of issues in environmental policy and the value presuppositions to different approaches to environmental problems, including economic, judicial, political, and ecological. Discusses specific environmental problems, focusing on their moral dimensions, e.g., wilderness preservation, animal rights, property rights, values of biodiversity, corporate responsibility, varieties of activism, ecofeminism, resource exploitation, and technological advancement, global environmental politics, and obligations to future generations.

Religious Studies

Environments and Religion


Environmental Anthropology
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