Instructor: Professor Joanna Dean

Course Description:

“Animals are good to think [with]” Claude Lévi-Strauss

This course looks at how relations between humans and other animals have changed over time. It provides a historical perspective on indigenous relations with animals; medieval bestiaries; the domestication of agricultural animals; our working relationships with dogs, horses and elephants; the display of animals in aquariums, museums and zoos; the disappearance of the animal in slaughterhouses and laboratories; and the evolution of thought about animal intelligence. It asks how we have come to see ourselves as separate and different from the rest of the animal world.

This is a blended online class.  We will have six three hour seminars, and students will complete six online classes independently. There are two field trips, to the Central Experimental Farm and the Nature Museum.


  • Journals (11): 40%
  • Discussion Forums (5): 10%
  • Essay proposal and annotated bibliography: 10%
  • Essay draft: 10%
  • Essay (2000-2500 words; 8-10 pages): 30%
  • No final exam.