Frenemies: Humans and Animals

The nature of the human-animal relationship is complex, pervasive, and paradoxical.  Over the course of human history, we have domesticated, exploited, and protected species — we love dogs, eat pigs, and despise rats. In dissecting this relationship, we will examine environmental issues, race, culture, sexuality, gender, and concepts of selfhood. By the end of the term, our inquiries will have entered the humanities, the natural and social sciences, health, business and economics, politics, and philosophy. There will be at least one class trip to an animal shelter, farm animal sanctuary, or wildlife rehabilitation center. Course guests may include a veterinarian, an animal behaviorist, and an anthrozoologist.

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