Humans and non-human animals have been deeply connected for millennia. What is the nature of these intimate bonds? How have these relationships shaped and been shaped by shifting climates and environmental conditions? What might non-human species teach us about how to better live on the planet in the Anthropocene?
Through lenses of animal behavior, social psychology and cultural anthropology, this program will examine a range of human/animal interactions. For example, we will examine how human-produced noise (traffic, sonar, etc.) affects animal communication, the impact of light pollution and landfills, and how habitat fragmentation is causing animals to either adapt to new urban environments or perish. We will consider the intimacies of raising farm animals in the Himalayas, and the risks of farming salmon in the Salish Sea. And we will explore the thin boundary between our mammalian selves and other animal species as we consider ways to live more sustainably.
Our learning objectives for the program are to use case studies of human/non-human animal interfaces to develop analytical frames, raise ethical questions, consider new directions, and create meaningful applications for our learning. We will offer workshops to develop writing and communication skills. Learning modalities will include: lecture; examining readings, films, podcasts and other resources together; seminar discussion; workshops; student-led projects; and hopefully some field trips (conditions permitting).
Possible readings for the course may include: Domestication Gone Wild: Politics and Practices of Multispecies Relations, edited by Swanson, Lien and Ween; Living with Animals: Bonds across Species by Natalie Porter and Ilana Gershon; Anthropocene Psychology: Being Human in a More-than-Human World by Matthew Adams; and Animal Intimacies: Interspecies Relatedness in India’s Central Himalayas by Rahdhka Govindrajan. Final reading list will be available on the program syllabus.
$50 Student fees will cover entrance fees and art supplies for an observational journal.
|2022-04-18||Program moved to spring quarter (was fall)|