New York Courses

Canisius College

Canisius College Anthrozoology Minor

The Anthrozoology minor is designed for students who want to concentrate on mankind’s relationships with other animal species. This minor is open to any student from any major.  Courses in the minor include:

Animals, Public Policy, and the Law
Animal Welfare
Conservation Psychology
Conservation Education
Child Animal Studies
Recreational Ecology
Canine Evolution, Behavior and Cognition
Canisius Ambassadors for Conservation
Internship 1 (only if related to anthrozoology)
Internship 2 (only if related to anthrozoology)
Independent Research (Anthrozoology Project)
Animal Ethics
Religious Perspectives on Animals
Animals in Film and Literature

Canisius College Animal Behavior, Ecology and Conservation Major

The Animal Behavior, Ecology and Conservation Program combines the rigorous scientific study of Animal Behavior with a values-focused curriculum in the liberal arts tradition. It is for students who want to thoroughly understand the facts and theoretical underpinnings of animal behavior, and who also want to use that understanding to promote animal welfare and wildlife conservation. The program will produce graduates who are expert in the science side of animal behavior, and who are also strongly grounded in the ethical and moral considerations in these disciplines. Canisius College is a national leader in this area by being among the first academic institutions to formally tie the study of animals to ethical considerations. The Animal Behavior, Ecology and Conservation Program is aligned with the Canisius College Institute for the Study of Human-Animal Relations.

Courses include:

Animal Cognition
Animal Enrichment
Animal Ethics
Animal Geographies
Animal Learning
and Animal Learning Lab
Animal Welfare
Assessing Animals
Behavioral Neuroscience
Canine Evolution, Behavior and Cognition
Canisius Ambassadors for Conservation (credit may vary)
Community Ecology
Conservation Behavior
Conservation Biology
Conservation Education
and Conservation Education Lab
Conservation Psychology
Field Ecology
Freshwater Biology
Independent Research
Internship 1
Internship 2
Introductory Animal Behavior I
Introductory Animal Behavior II
Introductory Biology I
and Introductory Biology Laboratory I
Introductory Biology II
and Introductory Biology Laboratory II
Observational Research Methods
Recreational Ecology
and Recreational Ecology Lab
Reproductive Biopsychology
Research Methods (credit)
Research Methods in Animal Behavior
and Research Methods in Animal Behavior Lab
Research Participation (credit)
Sex, Evolution and Behavior
Social Organization of Mammals
Urban Ecology and Urban Ecology Lab
Wildlife Ecology and Conservation in South Africa
Zoo Animal Husbandry
Zoo Animal Management
Zoo Exhibitry

Faculty include:

  • Tara Cornelisse
  • Christy Hoffman
  • Susan Margulis
  • Michael Noonan
  • Joshua Russell
  • Malini Suchak
  • Miranda K. Workman

Canisius College Anthrozoology Masters Program

Canisius College offers an online Master of Science in Anthrozoology. In this two-year, online graduate program, students will have considerable latitude in choosing courses that engage fundamental issues in animal studies, including environmental issues, education, law and policy, ethics, religion, literature, economics, shelters, zoos and, of course, companion animals, wildlife, research animals, and food animals.

Courses include:

Introduction to Anthrozoology
Animal Behavior and Conservation
The Mental Lives of Animals
Animal Welfare
Animal Ethics
Religious Perspectives on Animals
Animals, Public Policy, and the Law
Writing the Animal: Fables, Fairytales and Fiction
Psychology of the Human-Animal Bond
Cross-Cultural Anthrozoology
Human Dimensions of Wildlife Conservation
Child-Animal Studies
Animal Ethics
Religious Perspectives on Animals
Animals, Public Policy, and the Law
Research Methods in Anthrozoology
Animal Behavior and Conservation
The Mental Lives of Animals
Animal Assisted Interventions
Animals in Humane Education
Writing the Animal: Fables, Fairytales and Fiction
Framing the Animal: Art History, Mass Media and Marketing
Understanding Indifference and Animal Abuse
Psychology of the Human-Animal Bond
Animal Nonprofits
Zoo Animal Exhibitry
Shelters, Rescues, & Pounds
Anthrozoological Perspectives on Zoos
Animal Welfare
Human-Dog Interactions in Puerto Rico
Embracing Coexistence
Cross-Cultural Anthrozoology
Human Dimensions of Wildlife Conservation
Child-Animal Studies
Animal Geographies
Animals in Popular Culture
Canisius Ambassadors for Conservation
Independent Study
Anthrozoology Internship (3 credits, 6 credits or 9 credits)
Independent Research: Quantitative (3 credits or 9 credits)
Independent Research: Qualitative (9 credits only)

Courses are taught by a variety of permanent and guest faculty, including:

  • Marie-France Boissonneult
  • Tara Cornelisse
  • Margo DeMello
  • Maya Gupta
  • Christy Hoffman
  • Sheryl Pipe
  • Joshua Russell
  • Kristin Stewart
  • Malini Suchak


City College of New York

Animal Behavior and Ethics

 William Crain


City University of New York, Brooklyn


Saints, Monsters, and Animals in the Middle Ages

Karl Steel

Despite the insights of evolutionary biology, and critiques of the autonomy of the soul, self, and language based in psychoanalysis, deconstruction, and various historical methodologies, literary criticism and philosophy have persisted in considering humans as fundamentally distinct from all other worldly life. The Christian Middle Ages, with its insistence on the linguistic, rational, and ethical particularity of human life, is a key source of such dominant conceptions of the human, but its literary works may also model ways to reconceive our humanity more generously. By reading medieval works from a variety of genres, we will track the the multiple and shifting edges of humanity as it abuts on, and mixes with, the super-, sub-, and extrahuman, to seek to describe a posthumanism worthy of the name.

Animals and Ecology in the Middle Ages

Karl Steel

“Animals and Ecology: The Middle Ages” will introduce students to the more recent strains of critical animal theory and ecocriticism and consider how this thought might respond to and be transformed by its encounter with medieval cultures. Critical animal theory exploded in interest a little more than a decade ago, primarily through the work of Cary Wolfe, and a critical canon was quickly established, centering largely on Derrida’s The Animal that Therefore I am and a few other books, such as Giorgio Agamben’s The Open. With its bestiaries, its art that loved to represent animal/human/vegetable hybrids, its heraldry, hunting, and “household pigs,” and a literature more than happy to include talking animals, medieval studies has been particularly well suited to engage with these fields. Articles and, eventually, books began appearing in earnest over the least 7 or 8 years, although earlier cultural engagements with literal medieval animals date back at least 20 years ago to Joyce Salisbury’s The Beast Within. We are therefore now well placed to consider what might be called, clumsily, the second wave of Medieval Critical Animal/Eco Studies. We can readily identify how the dominant medieval intellectual traditions sought to establish human difference. It’s easy to link Augustine to Aquinas to Descartes as the enemies of all animalkind. Many other medieval texts, however, concentrate not on cognition and the possession of a soul but on vulnerability, heterogeneous needs, and scales of time in which humans appear as just one more compromised actor among others. Such texts often acknowledge the existence of subjectivities completely different from the more familiar lives, emotions, and needs of humans. With these texts, we will work over questions like the following: do animals have a particular claim on us, more than, say, plants? Which animals and why? How might swarms challenge an ethics based on individuals? How does renewed interest in nonhuman materialisms compel a rethinking of the usual arguments of critical animal studies?

Comparative Literature

Non-human animals in post-Mao literature and culture

Chia-Ju Chang

Columbia University

Human-Animal Studies

Brian Boyd and Susan Crane

The University Seminar on Human-Animal Studies is open to faculty and professional membership in the field of Human-Animal Studies. Vibrant new scholarship is emerging in this area of work.  The field’s focus is on how humans and (other) animals have interacted across cultures and histories: how the protein, work, and products derived from animals have contributed to human projects; how cross-species relationships have shaped human histories; and how animals’ imaginative and aesthetic roles in cultures are connected to the living presence of animals. Work in this field tends to be interdisciplinary, drawing on the social sciences and the humanities as well as on the already interdisciplinary fields of environmental and posthumanist studies.


Animals from Aristotle to Agamben

Samuel Moyn

This class is a reading survey about how the Western philosophical and theological tradition has conceptualized the difference between humans and (other) animals. Are humans animals? (What are animals, first of all?) If humans are animals, how to conceptualize their differences? Either way, what are the consequences for how to understand oneself and treat animals? What is the nature of human dignity, and does it depend on some plausible distinction of humans from animals? The course culminates in six prominent contemporary philosophers who have turned the traditions they have inherited towards the problem of animals. (Note: this is not a class about animal rights except indirectly, insofar as the question of whether rights might or might not accrue to animals will depend on a prior study of the status of the human-animal border.)

Cornell University

Animal Science

Introduction to Animal Welfare

Debbie Cherney, Joe Regenstein

Animal welfare issues will be discussed, mainly for farm animals, but companion animals will also be considered. Both animal specific and general areas of animal welfare will be discussed.

Ethics and Animal Science

Debbie J. Cherney


Humans and Animals

Nerissa Russell

Human-Animal Relations

Nerissa Russell

Natural Resources

Ethics and the Environment

James Tantillo

An introduction to ethics, aesthetics, epistemology, and political philosophy as these subjects relate to the environment. We will ask the question “How should I live?” and explore the implications of different answers to that question for our treatment of nature. We will examine the various approaches to ethical theory; the relations between art, literature, religion, and morality; the objective nature of value judgments; and the subjective nature of nature. Applied topics may include such issues as the management of National Parks; the tensions between liberalism and environmentalism; and the moral implications of agriculture and of our attitudes to food.

Nature and Culture

James Tantillo

We will examine the history of human- environment relationships, the diversity of environmental values and ethics, cultural manifestations of nature, and the role of society in forming natural resource and environmental policy. The history of natural resource conservation and management in North America, including the history and philosophy of ecology, will be introduced.

Literature and Otherness: complementary approaches from gender and posthumanist studies

Margarita Carretero González

In this course, I teach the part on the posthuman and, following Rosi Braidotti’s book, I look into Post-humanism as “life beyond the self” and post-anthropocentrism as “life beyond the species”. The chosen text to analyse from this post-anthropocentrist perspective is Paul Auster’s Timbuktu.

Hamilton College


The Literary Animal

Onno Oerlemans

Human culture has always been deeply interested in, and closely connected to, animals. Not surprisingly, literature reflects this interest in a variety of ways. In this course, we’ll examine the complexity of representing animals in literature by reading poetry, novels, and plays that reflect the human/animal divide, imagine being animal, or use animals as symbols for other purposes. We’ll also discuss how these texts reveal philosophical and moral issues that arise from our relationships with animals. Texts include those such as Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, London’s Call of the Wild, Shakespeare’s The Tempest, and Barbara Gowdy’s The White Bone. We’ll also read a broad range of poetry. (Writing-intensive.) (Proseminar.)

Hofstra University


Contemporary Ethical Dilemmas

Ralph Acampora

Do atrocities of slavery, genocide, extreme misogyny, and animal exploitation have anything in common-such as massive scale or institutional structure? If so, (how) does that matter ethically? If not, why are some crossed? Should grave kinds of immorality be analyzed separately, and on what terms?

Hudson Valley Community College

Hudson Valley Community College is offering a brand new certificate program in animal policy. This certificate program is designed for those who wish to pursue or maintain a career in the field of animal advocacy. The program is also designed for those who simply wish to increase their knowledge regarding the legal protection of animals. Some students may continue on to become advocates, while others want to work in other animal-related fields. Hudson Valley Community College is the only community college in the nation offering a certificate program in Animal Policy.

Hunter College Masters and Certificate in Animal Behavior and Conservation

The concentration in Animal Behavior and Concentration is a unique program designed to provide students with the skills needed for successful careers in animal behavior, conservation and welfare. The coursework applies psychological, ecological and evolutionary principles to the study of animals and their behavior, their communication, and their cognitive, psychological and physiological processes. The certificate program is open to Master’s candidates as well as post-baccalaureate students who, by virtue of prior educational and practical experience in animal behavior and conservation, are qualified for the training offered by the program.

Iona College

Criminal Justice & Sociology

Species Justice

Kimberly Spanjol

This course examines the animal protection socio-political movement, including global issues impacting animals and justice for them, as well as definitions, causes, and extent of animal suffering and exploitation with a focus on solutions. We will explore theoretical orientations that explain the psychological, social, political, cultural, spiritual and economic forces that drive our relationships with non-human animals as well as the legislation and legal frameworks that criminalize practices that harm animals and their enforcement––or unfortunately, don’t. The course also encourages students to grapple with, and determine, their own ethics regarding non-human animals and examines ways in which humans, animals, and ecosystems can be protected for the good of all while developing techniques for learning and teaching about complex issues in a positive manner that invites dialogue and positive change.

Environmental Crime

This course considers the global problem of environmental crime, including definitions, causes, and extent, with a focus on solutions. We will examine theoretical orientations that explain the psychological, social, political, cultural, and economic forces that drive environmental crime as well as the legislation and legal frameworks that criminalize practices that harm the environment and non-human animals and their enforcement––or unfortunately, don’t. We will use case studies to critically analyze problems and enforcement methods and you will take direct action through a project centered on a topic of your choice. We will focus on a solutions-oriented approach, balancing the study of environmental crime and its challenges with action toward creating sustainable and restorative systems that benefit people, animals, and the earth itself. We will seek multiple solutions for these complex environmental challenges, and aim to build your capacity for critical thinking, writing, and advocating for change.

New School for Public Engagement

Media Studies

Animals as Media

Dawnja Burris

Historically, non-human animals have been represented by human societies in various forms of media – and used as media themselves. From ancient instances of cave paintings to the plethora of
contemporary visual media and objects, images of ”the animal” continue to be produced for a variety of complex purposes. Carried within each artifact is a long and complicated series of human-animal
interconnections proceeding from historical, cultural, political and philosophical constructions. This course traces key instances and themes of animal portrayal through various media and genres, with
emphasis on identifying the ways in which humans interact with and maintain relationship with animals *through* the mediated image. Drawing upon inter-disciplinary theoretical viewpoints that
explore the subject of “the animal” and humans’ conceptions of “it”, we examine and question potential motivations and consequences involved in interactions with animals as emblems, friends,
companions, food, utility and wild others. Each week you are responsible for completing and discussing a set of readings. A lecture corresponding to the readings and posing discussion questions are posted each Monday. Each student is expected to engage by participating in the weekly discussions and by sharing an example of an animal in or as media. A total of four reading responses, which may be chosen by the student from the semester’s readings, serve as additional content for class discussion. Final researched and illustrated essays are posted on an associated online journal at the end of the semester:

New York University

New York University Animal Studies Minor

NYU’s Animal Studies Initiative promotes and supports research and teaching in the emerging area of Animal Studies. It does so by administering an undergraduate minor in Animal Studies, supporting research and teaching, and sponsoring public events and workshops. The Initiative draws on NYU’s strengths in the Faculty of Arts and Science , as well as the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development , and the Tisch School of the Arts. For questions about the Animal Studies minor, email

New York University Animal Studies Masters

In Fall 2018, NYU will launch one of the first Animal Studies M.A. programs in the world. The program is currently accepting applications for the inaugural class of 2018.  NYU Animal Studies, active since 2010 and housed in the Department of Environmental Studies, is a central gathering place for people interested in these issues. Students work with leading scholars in Animal StudiesEnvironmental Studies, and related fields; participate in intensive seminars, workshops, and conferences; and engage in a wide range of theoretical, practical, and creative pursuits upon graduation. The NYU Animal Studies M.A. Program, which builds on this foundation, empowers students to 1) examine the key debates that define the field of Animal Studies, 2) perform original research that contributes to these debates, and 3) understand the connections across animal issues, environmental issues, and social issues. This program is designed for people who 1) plan to work in professions that provide care for animals, 2) seek to advance understanding of animals in the world, 3) seek to improve the wellbeing of animals in the world, or 4) are enrolled at NYU and want to pursue a discounted graduate education through an NYU B.A.-M.A. Program.

Courses at NYU include:

ANST-UA 200/ENVST-UA 610/SOC-UA 970 Animals & Society
ANST-UA 257/ANTH-UA 59 Primate Communication
ANST-UA 393/ENVST-UA 593/AHSEM 193/DR-LIT 971.002/THEA-UT 632 Making Art in the Anthropocene: Project on Ecology, Species and Vibrant Matter or The Creative Project on Climate and Species
ANST-UA 400 Ethics and Animals
ANST-UA 410 Animal Minds
ANST-UA 440/ENVST-UA 440 Food, Animals and the Environment
ANST-UA 500/ENVST-UA 630 Animals and Public Policy
ANST-UA 600 Topics in Animal Studies
ANST-UA 600.001 Topics in Animal Studies: The Postcolonial Animal
ANST-UA 600.002/COLIT-UA 800.001/ENGL-UA 252.002 Topics in Animal Studies: Being Vegan: The Literature of Environmental Justice
ANTH-UA 54 Primate Behavioral Ecology
ANTH-UA 56 Comparative Biology of Living Primates
ANTH-UA 212 Prehistoric Art and Symbolic Evolution
CORE-UA 400 Text & Ideas: Topics—Animal Humans
CORE-UA 400 Text & Ideas: Topics—Of Beasts & Books
DRLIT-UA 301 Topics in Performance Studies: Animal Rites
ENVST-UA 323 Introduction to Marine Ecology and Conservation
ITPG-UT 2746 Animals, People and Those In Between

These course are taught by both current faculty as well as visiting guest faculty, and include:

  • Yanoula Athanassakis
  • Una Chaudhuri
  • Becca Franks
  • Jennifer Jacquet
  • Dale Jamieson
  • Colin Jerolmack
  • Christopher Schlottmann
  • Nandini Thiyagarajan
  • Jeff Sebo

Other classes include:

Social Work

The Human – Animal Bond and Direct Social Work Practice

Katherine Compitus, LCSW, MSEd, MA

This one-credit intensive (OCI) course examines the Human-Animal Bond and its importance to client and community health.  The human-animal bond is a dynamic and mutually beneficial relationship between people and animals that is influenced by behaviors that are essential to the health and well-being of both.  This includes, but is not limited to, emotional, psychological, and physical interactions of people, animals and the environment.  Veterinary Social Work is an area of social work practice that attends to the human needs that arise in the intersection of veterinary medicine and social work.  Current issues in Veterinary Social Work will be discussed, including HAB issues in disaster relief, homelessness and domestic violence, animal-assisted therapy and grief counseling for pet Loss.   HAB community assistance programs will be discussed.  HAB will be considered from a broad perspective, since it is a topic that affects people of all backgrounds and crosses socioeconomic, mental health, physical health, cultural and community lines.  Attention will be given to the importance of advocacy and promoting change in existing policies to incorporate the human-animal bond.

Colonizing Creatures

Zeb Tortorici

Did you know that in New York City in the early twentieth century, “pygmies” from New Guinea and Africa were put on display in the Primate Section at the Bronx Zoo, attracting tens of thousands of visitors weekly and also sparking major ethical debates? This shocking fact serves as an entry point to examine the fraught relations between humans and other animals in the past and in the present (locally and globally). Our readings this spring will focus theoretically, historically, and methodologically on the ways in which the “human” and the “animal” have been defined over time and place, with significant ramifications for all involved. Topics to be discussed include medieval and early modern monstrosities; religious rites involving animals; the commodification of animal parts; bestiality and other violent intimacies; animal domestication and breeding; zoos, circuses, and animal displays; vivisection and animal experimentation; the production and consumption meat; animals in art; and the debates surrounding animal rights; museums and taxidermy; pests, rodents, and insects; the rise of animal protection and anti-cruelty laws; and, the advent of animal studies as an academic discipline. In our attempt to engage “real” animals—living, sentient beings—and their archived remnants, this course involves excursions to the Bronx Zoo, the American Museum of Natural History, and the Morbid Anatomy Museum.

Niagara County Community College


Psychology of Human-Animal Relations

Kathleen C. Gerbasi

Human-Animal Relations will introduce students to the interdisciplinary field of Anthrozoology. Since this is a psychology course, the main focus of the course will be Anthrozoology from the psychological perspective, however we will also touch on other academic fields in addition to psychology. Topics covered in this course represent an overview of current issues in Human-Animal Studies. This includes human’s relationships with pets, psychological and physiological benefits of companion animals, concern for animal rights and animal welfare, the link between cruelty to animals and violence toward humans, individual differences in people’s relationships with animals (including sex differences), a study of the similarities and differences between human and non-human animals, especially as related to language, communication, cognition and problem solving, and a review of moral and ethical concerns about eating meat, wearing fur and the use of animals for research and entertainment.

Purchase College, SUNY


Environmental Sociology

Matthew Immergut

This course brings a sociological perspective to environmental issues, both past and present, by asking: Who is civilized? Who is savage? What is nature? By addressing questions of how human societies, animals, and land have shaped each other, students better understand the root causes and consequences of today’s environmental crisis. Topics include world hunger, water, and environmental equity for all.

SUNY–College of Environmental Science and Forestry

Environmental Studies

Animals and Society

Adam Fix

Animals and Society is an engagement with the fundamental issues in the field of Human-Animal Studies (HAS). This course critically evaluates the history of humanity’s interaction with nonhuman animals. In doing so, we utilize the processes of interdisciplinary scholarship via scientific, philosophical, and cross-cultural approaches to HAS. During this two-week intensive course, we are immersed in analysis of what the philosopher David Abram refers to as the “more-than-human world.” We will ask ourselves fundamental questions: In what ways are nonhuman animals participants in human societies? Are they truly the “ghosts” in our “anthropogenic machine”? What are the limits of knowing between species. How do we categorize differences, and do these categories justify differences in rights or responsibilities? Ultimately, what do our social relationships with nonhuman animals teach us about our own humanity? To provide a framework that will allow us to address these issues systematically, we will survey major approaches to HAS (including ethology, ethics, and social theory) and critically analyze some of the most pressing issues within the field, including captivity, domestication, agriculture, production, consumption, religion, activism and social movements.


Animals in History

Dorothee Brantz

Nature and the Environment in Comparative Perspective

Dorothee Brantz


State University of New York, Canton

Veterinary Medicine

Human Companion Animal Bond

Molly A. Mott, L.V.T

The Human Companion Animal Bond course is an interdisciplinary approach to understanding human-animal relationships. Topics include mechanisms of attachment, social and psychological aspects of human-animal interactions, pet loss and bereavement, physical and mental health benefits of animals, and animal assistance therapy programs. Major focus will be on developing the student’s interdisciplinary knowledge and understanding of the issues surrounding animals in society.

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