Center for Respect of Life and Environment (CRLE)
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Center for Respect of Life and Environment (CRLE)
Programs & Services


Institution: New York University, New York, NY
Course Title: Performing Beyond the Human: Animals, Ecology, Theatre
Instructor: Una Chaudhuri
Summary: 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?

Institution: New York University, New York, NY
Course Title: Animal Rites
Instructor: Una Chaudhuri
Summary: This course will explore the relationship between performance and the fast-growing new field of Animal Studies, which examines the cultural meaning of human animal practices. These include not only literary representations of animals (from Aesop's Fables to Will Self's Great Apes), not only dramatic representations of animals (from Aristophanes' The Frogs to Shaeffer's Equus to Albee's The Goat), not only animal performances in circuses and on stage, but also such ubiquitous or isolated social practices as pet-keeping, cock-fighting, dog shows, equestrian displays, rodeos, bull-fighting, animal sacrifice, hunting, animal slaughter, and meat-eating. We will study plays and films that explore the ways our interaction with animals shapes our accounts of the human, the "other" (including the racial and ethnic other), and the world. Plays: Rhinoceros (Ionesco), Equus (Shaeffer), The Goat, The Zoo Story (Albee), The Swan (Egloff), The Hairy Ape (O'Neill), Sylvia (Gurney) Far Away (Churchill), Cries from the Mammal House (Johnson) The Gnadiges Fraulien (Tennessee Williams). Films: The Silence of the Lambs, Amores Perroes, Carnage, Twelve Monkeys, Planet of the Apes, Tarzan, Disney.

Institution: North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27526
Course Title: Contemporary Science, Technology and Values (MDS 302)
Instructor: Nell Kriesberg, [email protected]
Summary: This is an introductory course in the Science and Technology Studies minor in the Division of Multidisciplinary Studies. Our goal is to gain insights about the interactions between science, society values and animals using a multidisciplinary approach. We will examine major questions/themes throughout the semester, for example:
1. "Is science inherently ethical?"
2. "How do we go about making moral decisions?"
3. "What is the proper place for animals in our increasingly science and technology driven society?"
4. We will examine different sorts of relationships we can have with animals.
This course will be given as a Distance Education course this coming summer and thus will be open to anyone, as long as they register for it via Continuing Education as a Post Baccalaureat Student (PBS). It is also available during the fall and spring semesters. Please see for a course syllabus and links to other courses.

Institution: Pace University, Pleasantville, NY
Course Title: Animals & Society
Instructors: Prof. Tracy Basile, 914-762-8898, [email protected]
Summary: “Animals & Society” stretches our everyday concepts of civic engagement, community service, and citizenship to include the nonhuman natural world. Students are urged to step outside of mainstream Western cultural and to envision animals from an Indigenous perspective. Native Americans have much to teach us about the importance of animals and that will be a theme that we will return to as we examine our culture’s deeply engrained beliefs about animals in medical research, animals raised for food, and captive and free-living wildlife. Everyone is required to volunteer at one of three sites: a sustainable farm, a wildlife rehabilitation center, and the local SPCS shelter. Emphasis is on integrating in-class discussions, lectures, and films with students’ real-life experiences in the nonprofit world of animal welfare and advocacy. In addition, each student will be involved in planning and running on-campus events related to animal welfare. Whenever possible, we will observe animals directly, through fieldtrips, the on-campus farm, and volunteer opportunities. Taught in the Fall.

Institution: Seattle Pacific University, Seattle, WA
Course Title: "Are There Dogs in Heaven?"

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Instructors: Kathleen Braden, Professor of Geography, [email protected] , 206-281-2927
Summary: This seminar introduces the first-year college student to the liberal arts in a Christian University through the investigation of human relations with animals. Topics will include: Christian writing on whether animals have souls, the issue of animal suffering, emotional bonds between people and animals, ethics of laboratory testing and keeping animals in captivity (circuses and zoos), cultural variations in attitudes toward animals, animals who perform work for people, psychological benefits of pets to the elderly, teaching language to animals, American habits and spending on pets, including the advent of pet cemeteries and therapists. Students will explore these topics through their own experience, current news events, examination of scholarly writing in theology, ethics, and social science, art and poems that elicit our emotions about animals. View Course Syllabus
Course offering information: This course has been offered since Fall 2001.

Institution: Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Course Title: Rights of Animals and Ethics of Nature
Instructor: Dr. Marta Tafalla, [email protected]
Summary: Introductory course about the philosophical basis of animal and environment protection. Main theories and actual debate on certain topics such as animal experiments, vegetarianism, and hunting.

Institution: Worcester State College, 486 Chandler Street, Worcester, MA 01602-2597, [email protected]
Course Title: Symbolism and Spirit of the Animal Kingdom: Cross-curricular Activities for the K-8 Classroom
Instructors: Belinda Recio, Center for Effective Instruction, 508-929-8873
Summary: There is a natural affinity between humankind and other animals, especially in childhood. This course honors and celebrates animal presence in our lives by regarding animals (and their symbolic/spiritual signatures) as teachers. In the first part of this course we will explore the human-animal relationship as embodied in the symbolic language of mythology, folklore, spiritual traditions, poetry, and visual arts from a diversity of world cultures throughout different eras of human history. We will look at how our experience of animals and our participation in their "otherness" helps us to understand our world and ourselves, particularly during childhood. In the second half of the course we will integrate the subject matter by developing and sharing lesson plans and building bridges across the curriculum.

Institution: York University, Toronto, ON, Canada
Course Title: Envisioning Animals: Animals and Visual Culture (GS/ARTH 5140)
Instructor: Matthew Browe, PhD, Sessional Assistant Professor of Visual Arts
Summary: This course deals with the role of visual depictions of animals in aesthetic, activist, environmental and biological contexts. It explores the role of imagery in constituting contempory and historical conceptions of animality. The course objectives are to develop an understanding of the importance of imagery in human-animal relations.
Course offering information: This course is a new graduate seminar being offered for the first time in Fall 2005.

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