The American Sociological Association’s Section on Animals & Society has three intriguing awards in the pipeline, and they are currently seeking nominations (including self-nominations — so leave your humility at the front door). If you’re a graduate student, writer, or academic — with interest and experience in animal studies and sociology — put this on your radar. Don’t forget, not everyone who studies animals actually cares about them in the same way you do, so your voice has to be heard! And get on this quickly, since the deadline is coming up very soon on February 1. But don’t panic, kids! If you are already published in this field, or if you have created, taken, or know about a course in this area, it is absolutely not too late to put together an impressive application. The three “calls for award nominations” are: Award for Distinguished Graduate Student Scholarship; Award for Distinguished Scholarship; and The Clifton Bryant Animals & Society Course Award. Their website goes into further detail.
Such awards are clearly a trend. A few months ago, we hens loudly proclaimed that “If You Teach a Great Animal Studies Course, You Deserve a Prize!” This pointed to two awards bestowed by the Humane Society of the United States and the Animals & Society Institute — one for an established course and one for a new course, at either the undergraduate or graduate level, at colleges and universities worldwide. It’s so satisfying to see the scholarly side of animal issues being taken so seriously by such a wide array of academic platforms.
And here’s another sign of the times that animals studies is coming into its own. Today, NYU’s Animal Studies Initiative is hosting a (free) Thinking With Animals conference, featuring a whole slew of speakers that make me sing inside — like Timothy Pachirat, author of Every Twelve Seconds: Industrialized Slaughter and the Politics of Sight, whose interview on our podcast remains one of my favorites. As far as scholars setting forth the animal rights manifesto in a clear and calculated way, Timothy is the tops.
Admittedly, a lot of this academic schtuff is way (waaaaay) beyond me. But I’m still the ultimate cheerleader when it comes to mainstreaming animal issues by way of university classrooms.