Are humans animals? Are animals persons?
This is not a traditional animal ethics course. Rather than taking the category "animal" as a given, the course will challenge students to question the category itself, to trace its origins and map its potential effects. How has the idea of the animal, co-constituted with that of the human, affected the development of animal- and environmental ethics? How are race and gender imagined in terms of the relationship between humanity and animality, domestication and wilderness? What can humans learn from other animals about friendship, politics, monstrosity, difference, communication, and community?
The course includes a trip to the University's biological field station at Lake Kuchak, where we will join bio students for parts of their winter practicum in zoology, and learn about conservation in Western Siberia from scientists working in the field.