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Human-Animal Studies: Courses in Drama, Theater and Film

Drama, Theater and Film Overview

This is a list of colleges and universities around the world who provide courses for Drama, Theater and Film in relation to the human-animal relationship. This includes the name of the college, the name of the course, who is teaching the course, and brief description of the Drama, Theater and Film course that the instructor will be covering.


Eastern Washington University

Animals in Film

Pete Porter

Representations of Animals

Pete Porter


Florida Gulf Coast University

Devising Performance: Human-Dog Connections

Michelle Hayford

We are partnering with The Humane Society University to create a civically engaged original performance about human-dog connections and the abuse of dog fighting in particular. We will investigate critical performance ethnography in both theory and praxis. This is an engaged theatre laboratory in ensemble building techniques via in-class exercises to develop an original ensemble-created performance for the as yet un-named spring production of TL003: A Performance Constellation. Performance dates are in April 2013 in the Theatre Lab.


New York University (NYU)

The Performing Animal

Una Chaudhuri

Performing Beyond the Human: Animals, Ecology, Theatre

Una Chaudhuri

This course will explore intersections between theatre practice, performance theory and the emerging fields of animal studies and ecocriticism. How has performance, and specifically theater, reflected, affirmed, contested or flagrantly ignored the growing cultural awareness of threats to the environment? What models has it proposed for encountering, understanding and responding to these threats? Although the course will focus on dramatic literature and performance from the modern period, the age of ecology, we will compare modern and post modern “animal plays” and “eco-plays” with classical plays on similar themes. Among the themes and topics to be explored in relation to modern and contemporary theatre practice are: eco-catastrophe, eco-apocalypse, animality and the construction of the human, zoo culture and post humanism. A fundamental inquiry of the course will concern the intersection of ecocritique and theatrical semiosis: Can performance, by virtue of its unique ontology and phenomenology, offer new and unique approaches to the ecological crisis before us?


Portland State University

Wildlife Film and Television

Mark Berrettini

This course will cover a range of film and television texts, fiction and non-fiction, that represent nonhuman and human animals, nature and “wildlife”. We will examine concepts such as: anthropomorphism, human-animal interactions, the cultural construction of nature and wilderness, the animal “world” as an extension of humanity, the definition and boundary of wildlife, subjectivity, and the popularity of animal and nature genres in film and television.


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