This course examines animal-human relationships from a multiple of theoretical perspectives to explore the various positions that animals occupy in human (as pets, food, friends, enemies, beings with rights, organ donors and spectacles of nature). It also introduces students to some of the theoretical cornerstones (and classic readings) of the discipline of Anthropology.
What are animals? How do we classify them? What sorts of relationships do animals have to humans? What can the anthropological exploration of animals and their relationships to humans tell us about ourselves? Animals and their relationships with people have been of interest to anthropologists for a long time, and some theoreticians have even suggested that the anthropological exploring animal-human relationships allows the discipline to come to terms with its colonial past. Early understandings of animals focused on their sustenance and symbolic value, and structuralist perspectives placed animals centrally in marriage and other systems of great importance to human social lives. More recent approaches have retained the notion that animals are important because they offer insight into human conceptualisations of and actions in the world. These approaches, which arise from a multiple of theoretical perspectives, have attempted to nuance old dichotomies and to look into the interesting and sometimes conflicting positions that animals occupy as pets, food, friends, enemies, beings with rights, organ donors and spectacles of nature.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
Students will develop analytic and critical thinking skills as well as increasing research and writing capacity.
Students will demonstrate an existing capacity to deeply and critically analyse a range of classic and contemporary readings in the discipline, in an area of interest to their main research goals. This capacity will be evidenced in and through the production of the major essay. Students will develop an existing capacity to conduct research on an area of animal/human relationships of interest to them and to the discipline, and to develop and present critical insights in the area of animal-human relationships. This capacity will be facilitated by and evidenced in the production of the tutorial presentation. Students will gain experience in the professional practice of presenting a paper to an audience, responding to audience questions, and in working feedback from that audience into a professsionally polished paper. This will be facilitated and evidenced in the presentation of the tutorial paper, and the production of the subsequent minor essay. Additionally, students can experience researching, presenting and then writing a paper in the same order that a professional researcher might. This is especially important for postgraduate students, who will need to develop this capacity to advance in the discipline as professionals. Students will also develop presentation skills that will be of use in any academic or employment context in which oral presentations are expected.
Minor essay (1,500 words 25%); major essay (2,500 words 40%); tutorial presentation (20%); tutorial participation (10%); tutorial attendance (5%).
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Two hours of lectures and one hour of tutorials per week + 1-3 hours of personal study per week.
Requisite and Incompatibility
None is required, but students will benefit from reading the following texts:
Mullins, M. 2002 ‘Animals in Anthropology' Society and Animals vol 10 (4) pp 378-393.
Mullin, M. 1999 ‘Mirrors and Windows: Sociocultural Studies of Human-Animal Relationships' Annual Review of Anthropology 28 201-24.
Bulliet, R. 2005 Hunters, Herders, and Hamburgers: The Past and Future of Human-Animal Relationships. Col.:Columbia UP
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.
- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees. Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.
Offerings and Dates
|Class number||Class start date||Last day to enrol||Census date||Class end date||Mode Of Delivery||Class Summary|
|8601||24 Jul 2017||31 Jul 2017||31 Aug 2017||27 Oct 2017||In Person||N/A|