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Lecture 3. What is Human-Animal Studies For? Academic Inquiry and the Politics of Species

In this session we will look at the development of human-animal studies, thinking about what key questions and assumptions shaped it as an academic field of inquiry. These will lead us into a discussion of one of the central texts in the field, J.M. Coetzee's The Lives of Animals. This novella poses and suggests some answers to those questions. It also shows how HAS, especially by becoming interested in the issue of gender, looked to move beyond the ideas about animal ethics discussed in the last session.

Essential reading
J. M. Coetzee, The Lives of Animals (1997) [available here

Recommended reading to get the most out of the class
Cora Diamond, ‘The Difficulty of Reality and the Difficulty of Philosophy’ Partial Answers: Journal of Literature and the History of Ideas > Volume 1, Number 2, June 2003, pp. 1-26 [available through the library here]

Josephine Donovan, 'Animal Rights and Feminist Theory', Signs, Vol. 15, No. 2 (Winter, 1990), pp. 350-375 [available here]

Further Reading
Cary Wolfe, 'Old Orders for New: Ecology, Animal Rights, and the Poverty of Humanism: The New Ecological Order by Luc Ferry', Diacritics, Vol. 28, No. 2 (Summer, 1998), pp. 21-40 [available at]

Susan Fraiman, 'Pussy Panic versus Liking Animals: Tracking Gender in Animal Studies', Critical Inquiry 39 (Autumn 2012), 89-115 Symposium from a special issue of the journal Hypatia [available at]