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 READING!

Kiara will be conducting class; you are expected to attend.

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

*GO ONLINE AND RESEARCH: The three 2018 Massachusetts ballot questions
* The content of each question and what a “Yes” or “No” vote would do.
* Arguments in support of each side.

*Please bring your copy of Melanie Joy’s book to class.

ANIMALS AS PETS

Tuesday, October 16th

*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.

Friday, October 19th

*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

Tuesday, October 23rd

*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, October 26th

*READMark Lieber, “Equine-assisted Therapy May Help Autism, PTSD and Pain. Why Isn’t it Used More?” CNN, July 10, 2018.

*READKarin Brulliard, “Therapy Animals are Everywhere: Proof that They Help is Not.” Washington Post, July 2, 2017.

*READING RESPONSE #8 DUE

*WATCH IN CLASS:

Tuesday, October 30th

*NO READING!

Guest visit: Polly Kornblith, Horse SenseAbility

**Today’s class will be held at the Alumni House, 42 Adams Road.

Friday, November 2nd

*Visit this site and watch the second video, “Verde Valley Experience, November 4, 2017)

Guest visit: Michael Capozzoli, Just a Penny Please

Tuesday, November 6th

*PAPER ROUGH DRAFT DUE IN CLASS

Friday, November 9th

*NO READING!

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

ANIMALS AS OBJECTS OF CURIOSITY

Tuesday, November 13th

*NO READING!

*PAPER FINAL DRAFT DUE BY 11PM VIA EMAIL

*WATCH IN CLASS:  (14:16)

Friday, November 16th

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

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

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

Discussion of how to meet course expectations for the remainder of the semester.

Tuesday, December 4th

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

*READING RESPONSE #10 DUE

Friday, December 7th

*NO READING!

SHOWN IN CLASS: “Unlocking the Cage”

Tuesday, December 11th

*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

Friday, December 14th

*PAPER ROUGH DRAFT DUE IN CLASS

Tuesday, December 18th

*Final paper due by noon