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


Institution: Arizona State University, PO Box 871802, Temple, AZ 85287-1802
Course Title: Animal-Human Connections
Instructor: Christina Risley-Curtiss, MSSW, Ph.D. College of Public Programs, 480-965-6076,
[email protected]
Summary: This course focuses on two broad areas of current significance for social work practice; (1) the link between animal abuse and other forms of violence such as domestic violence, child and elder abuse; and (2) the powerful potential that positive connections with animals have for healing and promoting resiliency in human beings while at the same time benefiting the animals. This course examines issues of prevention and treatment and builds practice skills in both areas. It considers animal abuse and healing animal connections within an ecological and empowerment context; and works to build sensitivity to various cultural contexts. Assignments in the course focus on these issues.
View Course Syllabus

Institution: Brock University, Room AS414, St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada L2S 3A1
Course Title: Animals and Human Society
Instructor: Dr. John Sorenson, Sociology Department, 905-688-5550, [email protected]
Summary: The objectives of this course are to draw attention to the roles of animals in human societies, to question the relationships we have with animals and to broaden the scope of sociology to include a concern for the non-human world. This course provides an opportunity to explore in greater depth some issues related to the exploitation and the liberation of animals. In 2006, we begin with a review of some theoretical/philosophical issues related to animal rights. We will examine the phenomenon of keeping animals imprisoned for entertainment purposes, focusing on the situation of marine mammals in aquaria and theme parks. We will also examine the phenomenon of killing animals for food and for entertainment, considering some of the justifications made for these practices. We will look at the use of animals in traditional Chinese medicine and the trade in endangered species in Asia. We conclude with a discussion of animal activism. View Course Syllabus

Institution: Central Connecticut State University, 1615 Stanley Street, New Britain, CT 06050
Course Title: Animals and Society (upper-level sociology course)
Instructor: Jessica Greenebaum, Sociology Dept., phone 860-832-2822, [email protected]
Summary: This course explores the social relationship between humans and animals and examines the social meanings which shape the role and status of animals in society. Some animals are loved as family members, while others are treated as objects to be used by industries and individuals. This course also explores the ideas behind the animal rights and animal welfare movements. This course will introduce you to alternative perspectives and will (hopefully) challenge your standpoint on human-animals relations. We will be discussing controversial and disturbing topics in this class.

Institution: Central New Mexico Community College, 525 Buena Vista, SE, Albuquerque, NM 87106
Course Title: Animals and Society
Instructor: Margo DeMello, Arts & Sciences Department, 505-224-3636, 0811#, e-mail: [email protected]
Summary: This course explores the spaces that animals occupy in human social and cultural worlds and the interactions humans have with them. Central to this course will be an exploration of the ways in which animal lives intersect with human societies. We will also examine how different human groups construct a range of identities for themselves and for others through animals.

Institution: Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH 02755
Course Title: Animals and Society
Instructor: Judy E. Stern, Ethics Institute at Dartmouth College, 603-650-8218 (Ethics Institute: 603-646-1263), [email protected]
Summary: This course explores a variety of topics in which the practice of scientific research may require moral decision making. Through case analysis and discussion we will help students to distinguish behaviors that are morally questionable from those that are morally encouraged. Topics will include deception in research, research methodology, mentoring and interpersonal interaction, publication, institutional responsibilities, and human and animal experimentation. The course is taught by a team of basic scientists and philosophers. It is open to all graduate students and may be used to fill the ethics requirement for students on NIH training grants.

Institution: Duquesne University, School for Leadership and Professional Advancement, Pittsburgh, PA

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Course Title: Animal Protection as a Social Movement
Instructor: Jennifer Jackman, [email protected]
Summary: In the past four decades, the modern animal protection movement in the United States has worked to improve the lives of animals by providing shelter and safety, winning local, state and national policy protections, and transforming social attitudes and human behavior. Drawing on both sociological and political science literature on social movements, the course explores the ideas, activists, issues and organizations that comprise the animal protection movement and the diverse set of strategies employed by the movement, including public education, protest, lobbying, litigation, direct service, and elections. The course also examines the myriad of economic interests that oppose efforts to gain protections for companion animals, farm animals, wild animals, and animals in research.
[This course is part of the Humane Leadership Bachelor's Degree Program offered in partnership between Duquesne University and Humane Society University; see for more information on the program and additional courses.]

Institution: George Mason University, Fairfax, VA 22030
Course Title Gender, Race and the Natural World (SOC 590/EVPP 636) graduate course
Instructor: Department of Sociology and Anthropology, 703-993-1443
Summary: Engages students in an interdisciplinary critical analysis of the ideologies that underpin the interlocking cultural narratives of speciesism, racism, and sexism. We address the role of science in the production of the ideology of domination and dualism, the cultural representations of nonhuman and human animals, and theoretical critiques of the oppression of the other.

Institution: James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA 22807
Course Title: Violence Against Animals (SOC/Criminal Justice 395) upper-level undergrad
Instructor: Scott Vollum, Assistant Professor of Justice Studies, 540-568-7329, [email protected]
Summary: This course provides an introduction to the study of, and issues surrounding, violence against animals in its many forms. The social reality of animal cruelty, animal abuse, and other forms of violence against animals is explored, incorporating sociological, criminological, psychological, philosophical, and legal perspectives. The course begins with an examination of the role and presence of non-human animals in human society, in criminological inquiry and in the law. It then explores the fundamental issue of what constitutes animal cruelty, animal abuse, or violence against animals, in general, and the different forms it takes. The course then focuses on the different contexts of violence against animals beginning with its study in the context of intra-human violence. Two primary aspects of this context are examined: violence against animals as predictive of violence against humans, and violence against animals as co-occurring with violence against humans. Finally, violence against animals is examined as a social problem/act of violence worthy of study in and of itself, irrespective of its tie to intra-species human violence. In these contexts, both individualized and institutionalized forms of violence against animals will be considered and discussed. View Course Syllabus

Institution: Keene State College, Keene, NH 03435-3400
Course Title: Environmental Sociology (SOC 399)
Instructor: Kathleen R. Johnson, Dept. of Sociology, 603-358-2594, [email protected]
Summary: 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 nonhuman 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.

Institution: Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI
Course Title: Animals and Social Transformations (SOC 840)
Instructor: Prof. Linda Kalof, Department of Sociology, [email protected]
Summary: This course is an historical overview of the relationship between humans and animals and how those relationships have changed with changing social conditions. Designed to enhance the Sociology Department's theme in Global Transformations, the course is the first formal, regularly scheduled graduate course in animal studies and is open to graduate students in the College of Social Sciences. Offered in the Spring of every year.

Institution: Notre Dame de Namur University, Belmont, CA 94002
Course Title: Animals in Society (SO/PY 180)
Instructor: Cheryl Joseph, Ph.D., 650-508-3586, [email protected]
Summary: This course begins by exploring capabilities of animals other than humans along with the implications of these faculties. Using experts in their various fields, we examine the bond between people and animals, focusing on the cruelty and compassion connections, then discuss ways in which humans and our furry, feathered and finned friends can enhance the lives of others.

Institution: Notre Dame de Namur University, Belmont, CA 94002
Course Title: Animals in Literature (SO/EN 181)
Instructor: Ken White
Summary: Through fiction, poetry, drama and literary nonfiction, this course examines the varied and significant roles that animals have played in human life throughout history and continue to play in contemporary society. Works by U.S. authors as well as some from other cultures are read to explore the ways in which literature uses companion animals and wildlife, real as well as imagined, to shape and reflect social values. Readings are approached from sociological and literary perspectives. Students are asked to develop creative writing exercises with animals as theme and/or character along with a small literary body of their own.

Institution: Notre Dame de Namur University, Belmont, CA 94002
Course Title: Sociology of the Animal-Human Bond (SO/PY 182)
Instructor: Cheryl Joseph, Ph.D., 650-508-3586, [email protected]
Summary: This course explores the unique relationship that humans share with other animals, the implications of this relationship and the potential. We examine the attitudes our society holds toward animals other than ourselves as well as how and why our social institutions create these attitudes. We also address the connection between animal and human cruelty along with the similarities between animal oppression and racism, sexism, ageism and social class privilege. Finally, we direct attention to the ways in which animals enrich human lives and humans can benefit other animals. This course uses historical, cultural, institutional, interpersonal and environmental perspectives to examine the human-other animal bond.

Institution: Notre Dame de Namur University, Belmont, CA 94002
Course Title: Animals, People and the Environment (SO/SM 183)
Instructor: Cheryl Joseph, Ph.D., 650-508-3586, [email protected] and Rob Fark
Summary: By combining natural science with social science, this class explores the interactions between people, wildlife and our ecological environment. We focus on the value of animal life and nature in such specific areas as conservation/wildlife management, food production, energy needs assessment, biomes and populations, urban sprawl, biomagnification and chemical pollution, environmental disease, endangerment, extinction, globalization and ecotourism within the context of social inequality and social justice. Particular emphasis is given to the deforestation of Africa and the Amazon; the introduction of kingfish into the Quechua and Imara Indians of Southern Peru; the Arctic wilderness and oil drilling; mountaintop removal in West Virginia; chemical pollution of the Great Lakes; creation of compatible eco-environments in Northern Minnesota; and the impact of tourism on Moorea. This course uses historical, biological, sociological, cultural, institutional and environmental perspectives to examine the connections between animals, people and our environment.

Institution: Ohio University, Athens, OH 45701
Course Title: Animals and Human Society (Sociology 204)
Instructor: Aileen Hall, [email protected], 740-597-1444
Summary: Much of human society is structured through interactions with non-human animals or through interactions with other humans regarding animals, yet sociology has largely ignored these types of interactions. This course is designed to bring into the realm of sociological study the relationships that exist between humans and non-human animals. A major focus will be on the social construction of animals in American culture. Students will learn how the meanings attached to various animals determine the nature of the human/animal and human/human interactions that occur, including how they are used to perpetuate hierarchical human/human relationships such as racism, sexism, and class privilege. This course will not be about animals, per se, but about the differences that animals have made in human societies and the difference humans have made on the lives of animals.
Course offering information: This course has been taught annually since 1999, usually in the spring semester.

Institution: Siena College, Loudonville, NY 12211
Course Title: Animals and Society
Instructor: Janet Alger, Department of Sociology, 518-783-2345, [email protected]
Summary: Documents the condition of oppression that marks the lives of most nonhuman animals and the suffering they experience as a result. Demonstrates the institutionalized nature of this oppression and identifies the major institutions involved. Focuses on alternative ways of accomplishing human goals that are less oppressive for animals.

Institution: Siena College, Loudonville, NY 12211
Course Title: Factory Farms, Health and the Environment (SOCI 490)
Instructor: Janet Alger, Department of Sociology, 518-783-2345, [email protected]
Summary: Contact instructor for further information.

Institution: University College of Cape Breton, Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
Course Title: Animals & People (AN/S 358)
Instructor: Tracey Smith-Harris, Department of Anthropology & Sociology, 902-563-1328, [email protected]
Summary: A critical and comparative examination of the relationship between people and animals. This course explores human attitudes toward animals by examining such topics as animal representations in art, literature and popular culture, as well as the social and cultural constructions of legal, political, economic and philosophical issues pertaining to animals. Much of the focus is on the controversies surrounding this complex social relationship.

Institution: University of Colorado
Course Title: Animals and Society (SOCY 4017)
Instructor: Professor Leslie Irvine, Department of Sociology, 303-492-7039, [email protected]
Summary: Non-human animals constitute an integral part of human society. They figure heavily in our language, food, clothing, family structure, economy, education, entertainment, science, and recreation. The many ways we use animals produce ambivalent and contradictory attitudes toward them. We treat some species of animals as friends and family members (e.g., dogs and cats), while others we treat as commodities (e.g., cows, pigs, and chickens). This course will examine the complex role of animals in human society. In particular, it will explore the various social constructions of animals. It will challenge conventional representations of non-human animals, presenting instead the evidence that many animals rely on cognition and emotion. It will examine evidence for the link between animal and human cruelty. It will also consider the similarities between animal oppression and the oppression of other human beings. Finally, the course will explore the moral status and rights of animals in human society.

Institution: University of New Hampshire, Thompson School of Applied Science, 291 Mast Road, Durham, NH 03824
Course Title: Animal Cruelty (AAS 219)
Instructor: Jerilee Zezula, DVM, Associate Professor, 603-862-1014, [email protected]
Summary: This is an internet class delivered through Blackboard Course Management System. It 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. This is designed as a 14-week class with a "presentation" of 1 hour per week accessed by the students at their convenience within a specific 3-day time frame during the week. View Course Syllabus

Institution: University of South Carolina, Spartanburg, SC 29303
Course Title: Animals and Society (SOC 321)
Instructor: Dr. Clif Flynn, Department of Sociology, 864-503-5635, [email protected]
Summary: This course will examine the role of animals in human society. It will examine how animals are socially constructed, it will challenge traditional representations of nonhuman animals, and study animals as minded social actors. It will apply sociological approaches to the study of human-animal relationships, and even animal-animal relationships. Finally, it will explore the oppression of nonhuman animals, and consider the moral status and rights of animals in human society.

Institution: University of Southern Maine, P.O. Box 9300, 96 Falmouth Street, Portland, ME 04104-9300
Course Title: Animal Abuse (CRM 327/SOC 380)
Instructor: Piers Beirne, Department of Criminology, 207-780-4105, [email protected]
Summary: An undergraduate course on the sociology of animal abuse.

Institution: University of Vermont, Dept. of Sociology, 31 S. Prospect St., Burlington, VT 05405
Course Title: Sociology of Animals and Society
Instructor: Prof. Robbie Pfeufer Kahn, 802-656-2187, [email protected]
Summary: The unconventional, writing intensive approach of this course, which asks students to compare the perspectives of authors writing about animals through a meticulous study of language, brings a new dimension to the study of animals within the contemporary sociology curriculum. The students' reliance on inductive study of language to discern and evaluate authors' perspectives has special meaning in a subject area so highly contested as the human-animal relationship. View Course Syllabus

Institution: Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA 24450
Course Title: The Earth-Universe Relationship: Widening the Circle
Instructor: J. William Holliday, Ph.D., 703-993-1443, JW [email protected]
Summary: This Earth-universe relationship course is subtitled: "Widening the Circle of Compassion." The latter phrase is Einstein's. It has to do with his sense that the more humans focus on all of creation's common cosmological origin and appreciate the fact of space-time-matter's emergence out of what for Einstein (and Berry, Swimme) was a numinous mystery—the larger our sense of Being will become. It is a personal sense of being as well, one large enough to encompass and include all other beings with love and reverence. It is a sense that allows us to become, as Thomas Berry (The Great Work) says, "a community of subjects" rather than of objects. Thus we widen the circle of compassion to include oceans and rain forests, starving infants and endangered species, and the individual suffering of factory farm animals abused and tormented by the intensive confinement system of corporate agribusiness. Students will explore the implications of the late 20th century scientific consensus of astrophysics that the universe not only emerged 13.7 billion years ago out of a quantum mystery but also is in fact omni-centered, a circle whose center is everywhere, whose periphery nowhere. This positive, postmodern scientific understanding of the origin and nature of the cosmos means that all matter since the beginning of time is part and parcel of an unbroken, ever-developing creativity that includes not only subatomic particles but stars, planets, and more specifically, Earth, with its untold species of life, the most recent and pertinent of which is homo sapiens.

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