Hey college students! Thought you were on summer break? Think again. Wesleyan Animal Studies (“fosters scholarship on human-animal relations from a range of disciplinary and inter-disciplinary perspectives”) and Animals and Society Institute (“supports practice to address the relation between animal cruelty and other violence and promotes action to protect animals through the adoption of ethical, compassionate public policy”) have announced a new undergraduate paper prize for college students pursuing research in this ever-emerging field. The website elaborates:
ASI and WAS will award a prize to an outstanding, original theoretical or empirical scholarly work that advances the field of human-animal studies. Papers can come from any undergraduate discipline in the humanities, social sciences or natural sciences, and must be between 4,000-7,000 words long, including abstract and references. The winning paper will be published in Society & Animals, a quarterly, interdisciplinary journal that publishes articles describing and analyzing experiences of and with non-human animals. Topics can include human-animal interactions in various settings (animal cruelty, the therapeutic uses of animals), the applied uses of animals (research, education, medicine and agriculture), the use of animals in popular culture (e.g. dog-fighting, circus, animal companion, animal research), attitudes toward animals as affected by different socializing agencies and strategies, representations of animals in literature, the history of the domestication of animals, the politics of animal welfare, and the constitution of the animal rights movement.
Applicants need to be either enrolled in college (full or part-time), or need to have graduated within the past year. The deadline is approaching quicker than you think, beach bums — just around the corner on August 1. Don’t miss the rest of the eligibility requirements, and be sure to email electronic copies of the paper and cover sheet to paperize [at] animalsandsociety [dot] org.
What’s in the water over there at Wesleyan? In addition to this innovative competition, WAS and ASI are also presenting a 6-week summer fellowship, beginning today, for scholars pursuing human-animal studies. Take a minute to glance at the groundbreaking work that the fellows will be pursuing. One of the projects in particular, that of Harlan Weaver, caught my eye. The focus of Harlan’s study during the fellowship is “Encounters with Dangerous Dogs and Dogs in Danger, or Humans and Non-human Animals in Kind.” The website describes the project as emerging from ten years of pit bull advocacy. “In it,” the website continues, “Harlan explores the ways that species, breed, race, gender, sexuality, class, ability, and nation are mutually shaped by relationships between humans and so-called dangerous dogs, ‘pit bull-type’ dogs in particular.” Go, Harlan!
It seems that between the ongoing innovative work being done in human-animal studies, and critical animal studies, we could post a new blog entry every single day. The latter will be touched on more thoroughly on an upcoming podcast episode, where we will further explore some of the work being done at Canada’s Brock University, which is one of the epicenters of this academic/activism-oriented movement. And for a blast from the past, be sure to listen to our podcast interview of Maneesha Deckha, from way back on Episode 93 (a personal fave). In that interview, Maneesha gave an overview of critical animal studies — one that I still think about, write about, and sometimes even obsess about, regularly.