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CHID 250 A: Special Topics: Introduction To The History Of Ideas

Animals, Ethics and Food: Doing Multi-Species Ethnography

Summer Term: 
A-term
Meeting Time: 
TT
Location: 
CDH
SLN: 
10760
Instructor:
Katie Gillespie

Syllabus Description:

Animals, Place and Politics: Doing Multispecies Ethnography
Multispecies ethnographers are studying the host of organisms whose lives and deaths are linked to human social worlds…Multispecies ethnography centers on how a multitude of organisms’ livelihoods shape and are shaped by political, economic and cultural forces.

                                                                               (Kirksey and Helmreich 2010: 545)

 

 

Students enrolled in this course should gain a better understanding of the place of animals in society and the experience of animals within systems of commodity production and use. Using pets/companion animals, animals in entertainment, animals in the food system, and animals in medical research as case studies, this course will explore notions of power and difference, ethics and responsibility, and creativity in reimagining the status quo. This course will push the boundaries of how we think about different ways of being in the world.

 

 

In this experiential learning seminar, students will have the opportunity to explore the place of animals in society through time spent in the classroom and at Pigs Peace Sanctuary. As a lens through which to understand the lives of other-than-human animals, we will focus our work together on the ‘multispecies ethnography’, a methodological trend in anthropology dedicated to understanding the inner lives of animals and the impacts on their lives and bodies of their encounters with humans.

 

 
Time spent in the classroom will be dedicated to engaging with readings, film and presentations related to the subject of animals in society and understanding the theory behind our ethnographic fieldwork. Our time at Pigs Peace Sanctuary will be dedicated to conducting an ethnography of a pig who lives there and a geography of the sanctuary itself. Each student will be paired with a pig and will work with that singular animal throughout the term. Through our work together, we will explore creative possibilities for pushing new boundaries in how we think about ethics and animals in our private and public lives.

 

Summer2015_SYLLABUS.pdf 

Additional Details:

What do animals experience with in the US Food SYstem?
In this class you will learn to better understand the workings of the U.S. food system (at both an industrial and small scale), and the experience of animals within this system. Using animals in the food system as a case study, this course will explore notions of power and difference, ethics, responsibility, and creativity in reimagining the status quo. This course will push the boundaries of how we think about difference and discrimination and recognize the intersections between human and animal oppression.
*Important: In addition to the two scheduled class periods on campus, students will participate in experiential learning at a local animal sanctuary Wednesdays from 10:00 - 3:00PM
Summer

Catalog Description: 
Examines a different subject or problem from a comparative framework. Satisfies the Gateways major/minor requirement. Offered: AWSp.
GE Requirements: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Status: 
Active
Last updated: 
April 28, 2016 - 9:11am
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