RAMS 101
Seeing Ourselves through our Relationships with Animals
Fall 2018
Tuesday/Friday 12:30pm – 2:20pm

Office: O’Connor 336
Office Hours: Mon/Wed 10:30 – 12:30 or by appointment
Phone: (508) 626-4864
E-mail: isilver@framingham.edu

Academic Strategy Mentor: Kiara Davis
E-mail: rdavis4@student.framingham.edu

COURSE DESCRIPTION:

Why do people who salivate over hot dogs not eat their own puppy? How can someone love a pet mouse, yet poison mice scurrying across their kitchen floor? This course explores fascinating questions like these, exposing what our relationships with animals reveal about us and our (in)humanity.

READINGS:

There are two books to purchase. They are available at the campus bookstore and can also be found online:

Hal Herzog, Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat. New York: HarperCollins, 2010.

Melanie Joy, Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows. San Francisco: Conari Press, 2010.

All other readings are linked below on the syllabus.

*Please bring assigned readings to class. For those that are online, either print them or access them electronically in class via your laptop, tablet, or smartphone.

CLASS ATTENDANCE:

I understand sometimes there are justifiable reasons for missing a class, but if you miss more than two it will affect your grade. If you have to be absent, please let me know. There is no need to give me a doctor’s note. It is your responsibility to catch up on material you missed.

READING RESPONSES:

As a way of facilitating rich discussions, you are to post on Blackboard in advance of certain classes. The dates when a reading response is due are listed on the schedule below.

Please post no later than 7am on the due date. I will not give full credit for late posts, and will give no credit for posts made after 12pm. Your write-up should have two parts:

  1. A 2-3 paragraph critique of the reading, which differs from a summary. Whereas a summary highlights main points in the reading, a critique takes the discussion in a direction of your choosing. It explores themes or issues the reading raised for you. There are several ways you can frame your critique.
    — A quote that struck you and why.
    — An idea you found interesting and why.
    — An idea you found confusing and why.
    — An important topic left unexplored.
    — How a concept or idea applies to your own life.
  2. Raise 2 or more questions for our class discussion. These should not be “yes/no” questions but instead “how” or “why” questions, since these generate more discussion.

REFLECTING ON ARTS & IDEAS EVENTS:

Some of the best, most memorable academic experiences at FSU take place outside the classroom. There are many such events throughout the semester organized through the Arts & Ideas series. Your tuition helps to pay for them and they are created with you in mind. Think of these events as part of your education, not as extras to be skipped because they may not be required of you.

A listing of all Arts & Ideas events for the school year can be found here. Please attend any two events this semester and write an essay about each of them.

To earn full credit (5 points each), please follow these guidelines:

  • Indicate the name of the event and the date it took place.
  • Discuss: Why are you better off for having attended this event? Make a specific point about what it was about the event that you found valuable and why. Draw on specifics from the event to support your point. Don’t write BS.
  • Your essay should be 2-3 pages.
  • Email me your essay within one week of the event.

GRADING AND EVALUATION:

Your final grade will be based on the following:

30%       Reading responses
10%       Arts & Ideas reflections
20%       Midterm paper
20%       Final paper
20%       Class attendance and participation

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY:

Students should be aware of the FSU’s policies concerning academic honesty, which are stated in the undergraduate catalog: “Integrity is essential to academic life. Consequently, students who enroll at Framingham State University agree to maintain high standards of academic honesty and scholarly practice. They shall be responsible for familiarizing themselves with the published policies and procedures regarding academic honesty.” Infractions include plagiarism, cheating on exams and quizzes, unauthorized collaboration with other students, and submitting work in more than one course for academic credit without prior approval of the instructor. The FSU Catalog defines plagiarism as “claiming as one’s own work the published or unpublished literal or paraphrased work of another.” Penalties for academic dishonesty may include receiving a failing grade for the course, academic suspension, and dismissal from the University.

NOTICE OF NON-DISCRIMINATION AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY:

By taking this class, you agree to abide by Framingham State University’s policy of non-discrimination and equal opportunity. The University is dedicated to providing educational, working, and living environments that value the diverse backgrounds of all people. The Massachusetts Civil Rights Act (“MCRA,” M.G.L. c. 12, §§ 11H11I11J) protects the rights of all residents of and visitors to Massachusetts to be free from bias-motivated threats, intimidation, and coercion that interfere with their civil rights. The MCRA protects the right to attend school, live peacefully, and enjoy other basic rights.

HOW WE THINK ABOUT AND CATEGORIZE ANIMALS

Friday, September 7th

Overview of the course

Tuesday, September 11th

*READ: Arnold Arluke, “Our Animals, Ourselves,” Contexts 2010  9(3): 34-39.

Friday, September 14th

*READ: Marvin Harris, “Dogs, Cats, Dingoes, and Other Pets.” Pp. 175-98 in Good to Eat: Riddles of Food and Culture. New York: Simon and Schuster, 1985.

*READING RESPONSE #1 DUE

Tuesday, September 18th

*READ: Melanie Joy, “To Love or to Eat?” and “Carnism: It’s Just the Way Things Are.” Pp. 11-35 in Why We Love Dogs, Eat Pigs, and Wear Cows. San Francisco: Conari Press, 2010. This is one of the books required for purchase.

*If you haven’t yet bought the book, the reading is available in two files — here and here. Right-click and then click “rotate clockwise” to read it.

*READING RESPONSE #2 DUE

Friday, September 21st

*READ: Hal Herzog, “The Moral Status of Mice: The Use of Animals in Science.” Pp. 205-35 in Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat. New York: HarperCollins, 2010. This is one of the books required for purchase.

*If you haven’t yet bought the book, the reading is available here. Right-click and then click “rotate clockwise” to read it.

*READING RESPONSE #3 DUE

Tuesday, September 25th

*WATCH: “Temple Grandin – The Woman Who Thinks Like a Cow” 

*READ: *** Only Pp. 1-20 are essential…Temple Grandin, “My Story.” Pp. 1-26 in Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior. New York: Scribner, 2005.

*READ: *** Only Pp. 52-57 are essential…Temple Grandin, “How Animals Perceive the World.” Pp. 27-67 in Animals in Translation: Using the Mysteries of Autism to Decode Animal Behavior. New York: Scribner, 2005.

*WATCH IN CLASS: (19:26)

Friday, September 28th

*READ: Hal Herzog, “The Cats in Our Houses, The Cows on Our Plates.” Pp. 237-62 in Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat. New York: HarperCollins, 2010. This is one of the books required for purchase.

*READING RESPONSE #4 DUE

DISSECTING THE MEAT ON OUR PLATES

Tuesday, October 2nd

*WATCH: At least one of the videos here – found within “Investigations” at the top (You can still access “Investigations” even though the link I’ve provided may take you to a page that says “We’re sorry but this page has moved.”

*READ: Melanie Joy, “The Way Things Really Are.” Pp. 37-72 in Why We Love Dogs… This is one of the books required for purchase.

*READING RESPONSE #5 DUE

Friday, October 5th

No class

Tuesday, October 9th

*READ: Melanie Joy, Collateral Damage: The Other Casualties of Carnism.” Pp. 73-93 in Why We Love Dogs… This is one of the books required for purchase.

Friday, October 12th

*READ: Melanie Joy, Melanie Joy, “The Mythology of Meat: Justifying Carnism” and “Through the Carnistic Looking Glass: Internalized Carnism,” and “Bearing Witness: From Carnism to Compassion.” Pp. 95-150 in Why We Love Dogs… This is one of the books required for purchase.

*WATCH IN CLASS: (13:05)

Tuesday, October 16th

*READ: Catherine Friend, “Can a Carnivore Be Compassionate?” Pp. 15-21 in The Compassionate Carnivore. Philadelphia: Da Capo Press, 2008.

*READ: Vasile Stanescu, “Crocodile Tears, Compassionate Carnivores, and the Marketing of ‘Happy Meat.’” Pp. 216-33 in Critical Animal Studies. Edited by John Sorenson. Toronto: Canadian Scholars’ Press, 2014.

Thursday, October 18th

Midterm paper due by noon.

ANIMALS AS PETS

Friday, October 19th

*READ: Jessica Pierce, “Is Your Pet Lonely and Bored?” New York Times, May 7, 2016.

*READ: Hal Herzog, Pp. 67-68, 72-74, and 75-78 in Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat. New York: HarperCollins, 2010. This is one of the books required for purchase.

Tuesday, October 23rd

*READ: Douglas M. Robins, Clinton R. Sanders, and Spencer E. Cahill, “Dogs and Their People: Pre-Facilitated Action in a Public Setting.” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 1991 20(1): 3-25.

*READ:  Sarah Mayorga-Gallo, “Whose Best Friend? Dogs and Racial Boundary Maintenance in a Multiracial Neighborhood.” Sociological Forum 2018 33(2): 505-28.

*READING RESPONSE #6 DUE

Friday, October 26th

*READ: David D. Blouin, “Are Dogs Children, Companions, or Just Animals? Understanding Variations in People’s Orientations toward Animals.” Anthrozoos 2913 26(2): 279-94.

Tuesday, October 30th

*READ: Amy Fitzgerald, “‘They Gave Me a Reason to Live’: The Protective Effects of Companion Animals on the Suicidality of Abused Women.” Humanity & Society 2007 31:355–78.

*READ: Leslie Irvine, “Animals as Lifechangers and Lifesavers: Pets in the Redemption Narratives of Homeless People.” Journal of Contemporary Ethnography 2013 42(1) 3–30.

*READING RESPONSE #7 DUE

Friday, November 2nd

*NO READING!

Guest visit: Michael Capozzoli, Just a Penny Please

Tuesday, November 6th

*NO READING!

SHOWN IN CLASS: “Dogs on the Inside” (67 minutes)

ANIMALS AS OBJECTS OF CURIOSITY

Friday, November 9th

*READ: John Berger, “Why Look at Animals?” Pp. 3-28 in About Looking. New York: Vintage Books, 1991…***START ON page 12 – two lines from the bottom (“During the 20th century, the internal combustion engine…”)

*READING RESPONSE #8 DUE

Tuesday, November 13th

*NO READING!

*WATCH IN CLASS:  (14:16)

*READ IN CLASS: Goodwell Nzou, “In Zimbabwe, We Don’t Cry for Lions.” New York Times, August 4, 2015.

*READ IN CLASS: Nicholas Kristof, “Choosing Animals over People.” New York Times. April 7, 2018.

Friday, November 16th

*NO READING!

SHOWN IN CLASS: “The Elephant in the Living Room” (96 minutes)

Tuesday, November 20th

*READ: Warwick Frost, “Zoos as Tourist Attractions: Theme Parks, Protected Areas, or Museums?.” Pp. 121-30 in Zoos and Tourism: Conservation, Education, Entertainment. Buffalo, NY: Channel View Publications, 2011.

*READ:  Natalie Angier, “Do Gorillas Even Belong in Zoos? Harambe’s Death Spurs Debate.” New York Times, June 6, 2016.

*READING RESPONSE #9 DUE

Friday, November 23rd

*No class – Thanksgiving break

Tuesday, November 27th

*NO READING!

SHOWN IN CLASS: “Blackfish”

Friday, November 30th

*READ: Wes Judd, “Why Do Circus Elephants Get All the Sympathy?” Pacific Standard, March 10, 2015.

*READING RESPONSE #10 DUE

Tuesday, December 4th

*NO READING!

SHOWN IN CLASS: “Unlocking the Cage”

Friday, December 7th

*READ: Karen Davis, “The Provocative Elitism of ‘Personhood’ for Nonhuman Creatures in Animal Advocacy Parlance and Polemics.” Journal of Evolution and Technology 2014 24(3).

*READING RESPONSE #11 DUE

Tuesday, December 11th

*READ: Peter Singer, “Open the Cages!” New York Review of Books, May 12, 2016.

*READ IN CLASS: Sophie Yeo, “Can the Psychological Technique of ‘Pre-Conformity’ Help Change Our Harmful Behaviors?” Pacific Standard, August 14, 2018.

*READING RESPONSE #12 DUE

Friday, December 14th

Course wrap-up

Tuesday, December 18th

*Final paper due