Human-Animal Studies (HAS) is a rapidly growing interdisciplinary field that examines the complex and multidimensional relationships between humans and other animals. HAS comprises work in several disciplines in the social sciences (sociology, anthropology, psychology, political science) the humanities (history, literary criticism, philosophy, geography), and the natural sciences (ethology, veterinary medicine, animal welfare science, and comparative psychology).
The ASI provides leadership in the HAS field by working with scholars and other interested parties to develop programs, events and publications and other resources that expand the availability of courses and resources in institutions of higher learning. ASI established a committee of leading HAS scholars to focus on the institutional development of the field.
- ASI is working to establish HAS minors, majors, programs and centers, and provides information and materials to professors who are interested in establishing such programs. Since we began our work on this subject in 2004, we have seen the rise of 13 certificate programs, 15 minors, 8 majors, 30 graduate programs, which includes 4 PhD programs in Human-Animal Studies, Anthrozoology, or a closely related field.
ASI is helping to facilitate discussion among HAS scholars. To that end, we host the HAS listserv for academics, students and others who wish to learn more about this emerging academic endeavor.
- In 2007 ASI began an annual fellowship program for HAS scholars. This six-week summer residency program funds six to eight talented and accomplished academics who pursue independent research on selected topics, each with an assigned peer scholar. From 2011-2016, the fellowship was held at Wesleyan University in conjunction with Wesleyan Animal Studies.
- Starting in 2017, ASI began a partnership with the University of Illinois-Urbana Champaign to co-host the first annual Human-Animal Studies Summer Institute program for advanced graduate students and early career scholars pursuing research in Human-Animal Studies. This interdisciplinary program is focused on graduate students and those in the first few years post-Ph.D., and enable 25-30 participants to work on their dissertations or publications at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign within the Center for Advanced Study, for one intensive week.
- In 2012, ASI and WAS began a new undergraduate paper prize competition, honoring the best undergraduate paper in human-animal studies. We also now publish Sloth, an online journal featuring work published by undergraduate students in human-animal studies.
- In 2013, ASI and Humane Society University began offering the International Development Program Award, to help non-American universities to build human-animal studies programs in their own countries.
International Development Project. The purpose of this competitive program is to provide one non-American university per year the resources to build its own human-animal studies program.
ASI produces a free monthly e-newsletter devoted to HAS news around the world. You can subscribe to it via the subscribe box on the right sidebar of this website.
ASI offers scholars a Scholar Page where scholars can post their research interests, load their CV and publications, and network with other scholars. Scholar members also get access to a number of special resources on the HASResource page, plus a 35% discount to Society & Animals, a 38% discount to Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, plus a 25% discount on any of the books in our Human-Animal Studies Book Series!
- ASI publishes the Human-Animal Studies Book Series, published by Brill, which includes many topics that allow exploration of the relationship between humans and nonhumans in any setting, contemporary or historical, from the perspective of various disciplines within the social sciences and humanities.
- Margo DeMello, ASI’s Human-Animal Studies program director, published Teaching the Animal: Human-Animal Studies across the Disciplines, an edited collection of fifteen essays covering the teaching of HAS in college classrooms, and Animals and Society: An Introduction to Human-Animal Studies, a college textbook.
- ASI’s two academic journals, Society & Animals (S&A) and the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, (JAAWS), offer in-depth and wide-ranging articles and reports that examine society’s complex relationship with animals. S&A publishes articles in the humanities and social sciences, while JAAWS (a joint project with the ASPCA) publishes articles and reports from the natural sciences.
- ASI offers a number of policy papers, guidebooks, and other publications to help scholars interested in Human Animal Studies find information.
- ASI offers resources for scholars on HASResource page, which includes syllabi, powerpoints, recommended readings, films, and more.
- ASI tracks research in the field, offering bibliographies by year and by topic in the field.
- ASI has put together a comprehensive listing of courses being taught in HAS in North America, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Latin America, Europe and Israel, as well as a listing of HAS degree programs around the world.
- ASI has compiled a comprehensive page of links to organizations, Journals, university programs, and research centers in Human Animal Studies.
- ASI has created two new blogs, HASImages and HASCinema, where you can find images and short videos, along with analysis, to use in your teaching