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?