ASI-WAS 2015 – Human-Animal Studies Fellowship

This is a wonderful news : There will be a 2015 ASI-WAS Human-Animal Studies Fellowship !

I had the privilege of being a fellow there for the 2014 Fellowship. It was a memorable experience, very useful to my research and it was a great place to meet leading animal scholars from all over the world. Lori Gruen and Kari Weil are especially generous of their time and their knowledge.

So, here is the Call for Applications :

The Animals and Society Institute and Wesleyan Animal Studies invites applications for the ninth annual summer fellowship program for scholars pursuing research in Human-Animal Studies.

This interdisciplinary program was started by the Animals and Society Institute (ASI) in 2007 and enables 6-8 fellows to pursue research in residence at Wesleyan University at the College of the Environment. In 2010, ASI began a partnership with Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, which now hosts the fellowship.

Wesleyan is a selective private, coeducational, non-sectarian school of liberal arts and sciences known for the excellence of its academic and co-curricular programs. Wesleyan’s College of the Environment was created in 2009 with a belief in the resilience of the human spirit and a desire to engage students and scholars in discussions about environmental issues and their social and political impact.

The fellowship is designed to support recipients’ individual research in human-animal studies as well as to promote interdisciplinary exchange among the fellows. Fellows are expected to participate in a weekly discussion group as well as ongoing scholarly exchange with other fellows. Fellows should expect a diversity of approaches, projects, and commitments to animal protection issues.

All fellows must be in continuous residence for the duration of the program, June 1-June 30, inclusive.

The fellowships are open to scholars from any discipline investigating a topic related to human-animal relationships.

Selected topics from previous years’ programs include: • Animal Ethics in Cold War Literary Culture • Animal Experimentation and Animal Welfare in Twentieth Century Anglo-American Science • Animal Husbandry and the Origins of American Slavery • Animals and Colonialism • Animals, Technology and Future • Children’s Experiences of Animal Death • Cloning Extinct Species of Mammals • Cultivating a Posthuman Psychotherapy • Current Topics in Veterinary Ethics: Food, Economy, Conservation, and Welfare • Ethics and Politics in Environmental Discourse in India • Food, Economy, Conservation, and Welfare in Veterinary Ethics • Gender Relations in Cattle Ranching • Human Animal Relationships at the Duke Lemur Center • Humane Movements and Pet-Keeping in Late Nineteenth-Century England and America • Legal Personhood, Animal Advocacy, and Human-Animal Relationships • Literary Representations of Dogs • Mourning Extinct Species • Everyday Practices of Care and Rescue in the US Animal Sanctuary Movement • Species, Race, and Humanity in Nineteenth-Century American Literatures • The Animal Rights Movements in France and the United States • The Human-Animal Relationship for Veterinary Students • The Moral Significance of Animal Cognition and the Irrelevance of Species • Victorian Quaker Women’s Contributions to Feminist-Animal Ethics • Village Dogs in the Rural Coast of Mexico • Xenotransplantation and Black Market Organs

This year, we especially encourage applications that deal with dogs, public policy, feminism, and animal experimentation.

Featured Speakers

The fellowship will open with an orientation, and a one and a half day workshop on June 1-2, 2015. During the workshop, two special guests, Ralph Acampora and Kristin Stilt, will come to Wesleyan to present their own work, and to discuss fellows’ projects. We encourage proposals whose methods, aims, or research topics might relate to those of our featured speakers.

Ralph Acampora is an Associate Professor of Philosophy, and teaches in the areas of applied ethics and history of modern philosophy. He conducts research in the fields of environmental philosophy, bioethics, and animal studies. After earning a B.A./M.A. at CUNY, Acampora gained his doctorate at Emory University (writing a dissertation on inter-species ethics and phenomenology of body). He has authored Corporal Compassion: Animal Ethics and Philosophy of Body (University of Pittsburgh Press, 2006, co-edited A Nietzschean Bestiary (Rowman & Littlefield, 2003), has published work in a variety of books and journals, referees for Environmental Ethics and for the Journal of Critical Animal Studies, and is a member of the editorial board for Society & Animals as well as Humanimalia. Recent interests of his include the hermeneutics of spectatorship at zoos, moral issues pertaining to the built, including biotechnical environment, and the ontological status of nature.

Kristin Stilt is a Professor of Law at Harvard Law School where she serves as Co-Director of the Islamic Legal Studies Program. She will also be building the animal law program, looking at synergies between law, religion, and animal studies. Before moving to Harvard Law School in 2014, she held dual appointments at Northwestern’s Law School and history department. She has received grants from Fulbright, Fulbright-Hays, the American Research Center in Egypt, the Mellon Foundation, the U.S. Department of Education, and the Carnegie Corporation. Her first book, Islamic Law in Action: Authority, Discretion, and Everyday Experiences in Mamluk Egypt, was published by Oxford University Press in 2011. Professor Stilt has worked with the Nonhuman Rights Project, and has long been interested in animals, beginning when she was a graduate student in Egypt where she was involved in forming the Egyptian Society for Mercy for Animals (ESMA). Stilt believes ”that the lives of animals cannot be prioritized according to national boundaries and that if we find a way to make a real difference, we should act upon it, regardless of where it is.”

Fellowship Directors

The fellowship is directed by Lori Gruen and Kari Weil (who host the Program), Margo DeMello, and Kenneth Shapiro.

Lori Gruen is Professor and Chair of Philosophy, and Professor of Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, and Environmental Studies at Wesleyan University. Her work lies at the intersection of ethical theory and practice, with a particular focus on issues that impact those often overlooked in traditional ethical investigations, e.g. women, people of color, non-human animals. She has published extensively on topics in ecofeminist ethics, animal ethics, and environmental philosophy. She is the author of three books on animal ethics, including Entangled Empathy (Lantern, forthcoming) and Ethics and Animals: An Introduction (Cambridge, 2011), the co-editor of five books, including Ecofeminism: Feminist Intersections with Other Animals and the Earth (with Carol Adams, Bloomsbury, 2014), the editor of The Ethics of Captivity (Oxford University Press, 2014), and is the author of dozens of articles and book chapters.

Kari Weil is University Professor of Letters and Director of the College of Letters at Wesleyan. With Lori Gruen, she is co-coordinator of Wesleyan Animal Studies, co-host of the Fellowship, and co-editor of a special issue of Hypatia entitled Animal Others (27.3, Summer 2012). She is the author, most recently, of Thinking Animals: Why Animal Studies Now? (Columbia, 2012) and has published widely on issues of gender, feminist theory, and representations of animal otherness. Her current project is tentatively titled The Most Beautiful Conquest of Man (sic): Horses and the Conquest of Animal Nature in Nineteenth-Century France.

Margo DeMello is Program Director of the Human-Animal Studies Program at the Animals and Society Institute, is an Adjunct Professor at Canisius College’s Anthrozoology program, and lectures at Central New Mexico Community College. She also is the Executive Director of House Rabbit Society, an international rabbit advocacy organization. Her most recent books include Teaching the Animal: Human Animal Studies Across the Disciplines (2010), Animals and Society: An Introduction to Human-Animal Studies (2012), and Speaking for Animals: Animal Autobiographical Writing (2012).

Kenneth Shapiro is cofounder and President of the board of the Animals and Society Institute. He is founding editor of Society and Animals: Journal of Human-Animal Studies, and coeditor and cofounder of Journal for Applied Animal Welfare Science and the editor of the Human-Animal Studies book series. His most recent book is The Assessment and Treatment of Children who Abuse Animals: The AniCare Approach.

Application Deadline: November 30, 2014

Amount of Award

Scholars selected to participate in the fellowship program will be awarded a stipend of $2,000 to help cover travel costs, housing, living expenses, books and other research expenses. The fellowship does not pay for housing; fellows will be responsible for finding, and paying for, their own housing. Additional travel and living expenses may become available based on need. We encourage applicants to seek funding from their Universities.


Applicants must (1) possess a Ph.D., J.D., M.S.W. or equivalent, or be a doctoral student at the dissertation stage; (2) have a commitment to advancing research in Human-Animal Studies; (3) be actively engaged, during the fellowship program, in a research project that culminates in a journal article, book, or other scholarly presentation; (4), be far enough along in the project that it will truly benefit from a concentrated period of work conducted on the Wesleyan campus; and (5) submit a follow-up report six months after the fellowship’s completion. Applications are encouraged from the social sciences, humanities, and natural sciences, as long as a part of the project is explicitly dealing with the human-animal relationship.

The ASI’s major work includes: • Editing two peer-reviewed academic journals, Society & Animals (now in its 20th year) and the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science (now in its 15th year); • Producing the Brill Human-Animal Studies Book Series (now including 14 titles); • Teaching the Animal: Human-Animal Studies Across the Disciplines, a three-volume ASI project, was published by Lantern Books in 2010; • Producing the ASI Public Policy Paper series and the Guide to Experts in Animal Issues; • Developing and publishing AniCare, a psychological counseling approach for juveniles and adults who abuse animals. We provide workshops and online courses (in partnership with the Arizona State University School of Social Work) on the approach; • Implementing our Rapid Response program for raising awareness of the cycle between animal abuse and other violent behavior, to the media, the general public and the criminal justice system; • Partnering on a variety of programs and projects with the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the American Humane Association, The Humane Society of United States, and other major national human service and humane societies that share our goals; • Producing the Animals’ Platform, a blueprint to promote new and stricter animal protection legislation and policy.

About Wesleyan University

Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut, is a selective private, coeducational, nonsectarian school of liberal arts and sciences known for the excellence of its academic and co-curricular programs. Wesleyan’s College of the Environment was created in 2009 with a belief in the resilience of the human spirit and a desire to engage students and scholars in discussions about environmental issues and their social and political impact. Wesleyan Animal Studies (WAS) was created in 2010 in order to foster scholarship on human-animal relations from a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives. WAS offers courses in Philosophy, Biology, and Environmental Studies, and has hosted conferences in 2011 and 2012.

Please address all correspondence to us at:

Special thanks to our endowed sponsors: The Humane Society of the United States and the National Canine Research Council.