Animals & Humans: A Beastly Experiment in Ethics, Theory & Writing
Companion animals are commonly treated as “members of the family,” and we have become increasingly concerned about the welfare of other animals, such as those used in experimental lab settings. Still, these concerns are predicated on contradictory philosophies of human/non-human difference. In this course we consider the diverse ways animals are a part of our lives – for instance, as symbols, commodities, and workers. In the process, we begin to formulate new approaches to multispecies ethics and reconsider what we mean by “human.” Our goal in this course is collective. We are going to produce a contemporary version of the medieval bestiary and publish it online. During the Middle Ages, bestiaries illustrated the qualities of animals (including mythic beings) in an encyclopedic fashion. In the process of creating our own bestiary, we are going to learn how to produce our own social theory – perhaps rethinking what we mean by “social” theory in the process. Consider this course an experiment in critical thinking and writing. While the majority of the written materials for this course will come from anthropology, we will also engage materials (visual and written) from other disciplines. In addition, we are going to engage materials curated by staff at Dartmouth’s Hood Museum of Art and the Rauner Special Collections Library.
Animals and Women in Western Literature
What do stories about animals tell us about the treatment of women in Western society? What do stories about women tell us about the treatment of animals in Western society? And why are the two so often linked in the first place? In this course, we will examine Western cultural traditions that associate women with animals, and will interrogate women’s complex response to those associations. We will ask how, when and why women and animals are jointly excluded from subjectivity and from ethical consideration. Given the advances in areas such as women’s rights, we will ask whether there have been corresponding advances in the treatment of animals, and why women feel particularly called upon to work for those advances. Statistics suggest, for example, that the overwhelming majority of vegetarians and humane society members are women. Is the ethical treatment of animals an important feminist cause? We will read literary works (Ovid, Marie de France, William Shakespeare, Mary Shelley, “Michael Field,” Ursula Le Guin, J.M. Coetzee, Ruth Ozeki) alongside religious (the Bible) and philosophical (Aristotle, Descartes, Wollstonecraft, Levinas) texts, and draw on current schools of critical thought such as ecofeminism (Carol Adams) and postmodern theory (Marin, Lippit, Wolf and Elmer) to develop an understanding of these issues.
Keene State College
Literature and the Environment
This interdisciplinary course introduces students to the traditions of environmental literature. Students will learn to think across the humanities, arts, and sciences. May explore a particular group of writers, genre, historical period, or bioregion. May be repeated once as topics change.
Examines some of the important concepts and theories used by environmental sociologists to address the following substantive issues: how society and the economy have developed their relationship to the environment, efforts to expand our moral circle to include non-human life, a variety of environmental movements such as the environmental justice movement and the animal rights movement, how we measure and interpret studies of environmental concern, and some of the problems and possible solutions of building sustainable and alternative environmental societies.
Searching for Wildness
Mark C. Long
University of New Hampshire
Animals Rights and Societal Issues
William A. Condon
Undertakes a thorough examination of value judgments and belief structures as well as the empirical evidence involved in the issue of animal rights. Aims not to arrive at policy decisions, but to get students thinking about the issue.
Animal Cruelty: NH Laws, Investigations, and Prosecution
Jerilee A. Zezula
An Internet class delivered through Blackboard Course Management System. Explains and discusses all aspects of animal cruelty, NH cruelty laws, and presents the importance and implications of recognizing animal cruelty and its link to human violence. Cruelty investigation procedures, prosecution protocol and officer field safety will also be presented. Designed as a 14-week class with a “presentation” of one hour per week accessed by the student at their convenience within a specific 3-day time frame during the week.
Animals, Identity and Culture
How do humans relate to non-human animals across cultures? What are the roles that animals play in different societies – as food, as religious figures, as companions, as kin, as laborers? From its origins as a discipline, anthropology has examined human-animal relations in a variety of social and geographic settings. This course will review some of the classic examples of anthropological understandings of animals, and bring these examples into conversation with current debates about race and classification, animal ethics, biotechnology, and food politics. Students will engage with texts, films, and other media from anthropology as well as philosophy, history, and feminist science studies. We will approach these materials from an anthropological perspective that focuses on the ways that our diverse, and ever changing, expressions of identity and culture shape how we engage with other species – whether as beings to think with, live with, love, kill, and/or consume.
Explores the many aspects of the human/animal bond through required reading, writing, and discussions. Requires an 8 hour volunteer practicum.
Animal Assisted Activities and Therapy
Jerilee A. Zezula
Course explores the human/animal bond in specifically goal directed activities and therapeutic interventions. Covers human/pet volunteer training; animal selection; animal assisted therapeutic applications; and animals in institutions, residential facilities, and classrooms. The text for the class is provided and covered by the special fee of $25.00.