POL S 413 A: Contemporary Political Theory

Meeting Time: 
T 1:30pm - 4:20pm
SMI 109
Joint Sections: 
POL S 511 A
Christine DiStefano

Syllabus Description:

Traditionally, politics has been defined as the arrangements, frameworks, and rules that human beings devise for living together.  What happens to this understanding of politics when non-human animals are added to the mix?  In this reading- and writing-intensive seminar, we will explore various normative approaches to thinking about inter-species relations, which draw from different and distinct traditions of political theory and philosophy.  

Assigned readings (listed in order of their appearance on the syllabus):  Mary Midgley, Animals and Why They Matter; Peter Singer, Animal Liberation; Tom Regan, The Case for Animal Rights; Martha Nussbaum, Frontiers of Justice; Sue Donaldson and Will Kymlicka, Zoopolis:  A Political Theory of Animal Rights; Robert Garner, A Theory of Justice for Animals; Timothy Pachirat, Every Twelve Seconds:  Industrialized Slaughter and the Politics of Sight; Lori Gruen, Entangled Empathy:  An Alternative Ethic for Our Relationships with Animals.

Evaluation and grading will be based on weekly response papers (40%), final paper (40%), and seminar participation (20%).

Recommended background reading for students who are new to this topic:  Alasdair Cochrane, An Introduction to Animals and Political Theory; Kari Weil, Thinking Animals:  Why Animal Studies Now?

Catalog Description: 
Analysis of political theorists, exploring contemporary theories of humanity and society that form the basis for differing political ideas.
Department Requirements: 
Political Theory Field
GE Requirements: 
Individuals and Societies (I&S)
Last updated: 
January 10, 2018 - 9:45pm