We are a multidisciplinary research group in the field of animal studies, forming a bridge between the social sciences and the sciences – we occupy the intersection of human-animal studies, law, veterinary science, cultural studies and public health.
Our work focuses on issues such as species extinctions, environmental sustainability and climate change, animal welfare and rights in the context of large-scale agriculture and fishing, companion-animal ethics, and recent controversies surrounding live-animal exports, horse racing and mosquitoes.
We explore questions such as:
Our research team includes staff and students from the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, the Faculty of Science, the University of Sydney School of Veterinary Science and the University of Sydney Law School. We welcome associates from throughout Australia and around the world.
We hold regular seminars showcasing our work and that of visiting researchers.
9 May 2018
Elisa Aaltola, University of Eastern Finland
Certain emotions are often lacking from how animals are defined and treated. This talk asks what sorts of emotions Western cultures teach us to feel towards pigs, pigeons, fish and cows, and how this impacts our take on their moral standing.
30 May 2017
Shiri Raz, Bar-Ilan University, Israel
With a focus on the moral aspects of animal product consumption, this seminar explores the gap between viewpoints and experiences and presents a model for a deeper understanding of the conflicts between individuals and groups by observing the way we use language.
16 May 2017
Radhika Subramaniam, Parsons School of Design, The New School, New York
An experimental approach to writing an animal biography that incorporates the animal, its human companion and the writer. Experiences of intimacy, isolation, confinement, migration and intelligibility form the tale, posing the challenge of storytelling across species and time.
11 April 2017
Dr Katherine Dashper, Leeds Beckett University, UK
Drawing on an eight-year multispecies ethnography to discuss interspecies interactions within equestrian sport and leisure to propose a framework for efforts to enhance understanding and appreciation of the subtle and complex interspecies encounters in this field.
20 September 2016
Frédéric Côté-Boudreau, Queen's University, Canada
Marginalised groups, such as animals and people with cognitive disabilities, experience obstacles to living the life they would like. This talk draws on relational autonomy, disability studies and citizenship theory of animals to address these issues in non-rationalistic and non-individualistic terms.
13 September 2016
Some animals we welcome into our homes and lives. Others we bar from our lawns and legal systems. This seminar explores the role of literature and language in reimagining our relationship with animals, how animal-themed literature has evolved and where it is headed.
Animal Publics series, Sydney University Press
Christine Townend, A life for animals, Sydney University Press, 2017
Peter John Chen, Animal welfare in Australia: Politics and policy, Sydney University Press, 2016
Peta Tait, Fighting nature: Travelling menageries, animal acts and war, Sydney University Press, 2016
Human-Animal Research Network Collective, Animals in the Anthropocene: Critical perspectives on non-human futures, Sydney University Press, 2015
Marcel Wissenburg and David Schlosberg (Eds), Political animals and animal politics, Palgrave Macmillan, 2014
Georgette Leah Burns and Mandy Paterson (Eds), Engaging with animals: Interpretations of a shared existence, Sydney University Press, 2014
Phil McManus, The global horseracing industry: Social, economic and ethical perspectives, Routledge, 2013
Celeste Black, Animal law in Australasia: Continuing the dialogue, Federation Press, 2013
Jay Johnston and Fiona Probyn-Rapsey (Eds), Animal Death, Sydney University Press, 2013
Nigel Turvey, Cane toads: A tale of sugar, politics and flawed science, Sydney University Press, 2013
Paul McGreevy and Robert Boakes, Carrots and sticks: Principles of animal training, Darlington Press, 2011