FELLOWSHIP – Summer Research, Animals & Society Inst. & Wesleyan University

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

This interdisciplinary program enables 6-8 fellows to pursue research in residence at Wesleyan University of the College of the Environment. Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut 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 through mentorship, guest lectures, and scholarly exchange among fellows and opportunities to contribute to the intellectual life of the host institution.  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, May 28 – July 3, 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 Stories as Literature of Dissent
  • Animals and Colonialism
  • Animals, Technology and Future
  • Children’s Experiences of Animal Death
  • Cloning Extinct Species of Mammals
  • 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
  • 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

Featured Speakers:

This year, ASI-WAS will open with a two-day workshop on May 31-June 1, during which fellows will present their projects. The workshop will also feature two speakers, Carrie Rohman and John Gluck, who will give presentations on their own work, lead discussions on each of the fellows’ work, and offer feedback to the fellows.  Mid-way through the fellowship, Timothy Pachirat will come to Wesleyan to speak about his recent work and meet with fellows. We encourage proposals whose methods, aims, or research topics might relate to those of our featured speakers.

John Gluck is a Professor Emeritus of Psychology at University of New Mexico. His primary research focus is in the general area of bioethics, particularly professional clinical conduct and the ethics of human and animal research. He has published dozens of papers on animal research and ethics, and is currently working on a book about the work of psychologist Harry Harlow.

Timothy Pachirat is an Assistant Professor of Politics at the New School for Social Research. His research interests include comparative politics, the politics of Southeast Asia, spatial and visual politics, power and the sociology of domination and resistance, the political economy of dirty and dangerous work, and interpretive and ethnographic research methods. His acclaimed book, Every Twelve Seconds: Industrialized Slaughter and the Politics of Sight (Yale 2011), draws on an ethnography of immigrant labor on the kill floor of an industrialized cattle slaughterhouse located in the Great Plains of the United States to explore how violence that is seen as both essential and repugnant to modern society is organized, disciplined, regulated, and reproduced.

Carrie Rohman is an Assistant Professor of English at Lafayette College. Her research and teaching interests include animal studies, modernism, posthumanism, performance, and aesthetics. She is the author of Stalking the Subject: Modernism and the Animal (Columbia 2009), which outlines the complex philosophical and ethical stakes involved in theorizing the animal in humanism and its status in modernist literature. She is currently writing about animality and aesthetics in twentieth-century literature, dance, and performance art.

Fellowship Hosts:

The fellowship is hosted by Wesleyan faculty Lori Gruen and Kari Weil.

Lori Gruen is Professor of Philosophy, 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 two books on animal ethics, most recently Ethics and Animals: An Introduction (Cambridge, 2011), the co-editor of four books, including the newly released second edition of Reflecting on Nature:  Readings in Environmental Philosophy and Ethics (Oxford, 2012), and is the author of dozens of articles and book chapters.  She continues to work on her manuscript that explores the ethical and epistemological issues raised by human relations to captive chimpanzees. She is also working on two edited volumes, one on Ethics and Captivity, the other on Food Sustainability and Justice.

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 and co-editor of a special issue of Hypatia entitled Animal Others (27.3, Summer 2012). She is the author 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.

Application deadline: November 30, 2012

Amount of Award:

Scholars selected to participate in the fellowship program will be awarded a stipend of $3,000 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.


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.


Applicants should email electronic copies of the following items to fellowshipapplication@animalsandsociety.org:

  • Cover sheet with the applicant’s name, mailing address to be used for future correspondence, telephone and fax numbers, e-mail address, present rank and institution name, date Ph.D. or J.D. or M.S.W. received or expected, citizenship status, title of project, history of fellowships and grants received during the past five years.
  • One paragraph abstract
  • Project proposal of up to three pages (single-spaced) that describes the project and indicates work completed on the project to date.  Since the description will be considered by a panel of scholars from a variety of disciplines, it should be written for non-specialists.
  • Project proposal should include clear details about what draws the candidate to animal studies, how far the applicant is along in the project, and what part of the project the applicant expects to accomplish during the course of the fellowship
  • Proposals should also include answers to these questions: What are the policy and/or ethical implications in your work? Does your work inform your teaching or how might it be integrated into coursework? How does your work contribute to the field of human-animal studies generally and to the animal question in your own field?
  • Curriculum vitae of up to three pages.
  • Two letters of recommendation (pdfs of original letters recommended)
  • Applicants are responsible for contacting referees and supplying them with a description of the project.

Selection Process:

Applications are evaluated on the basis of the contribution of the completed project to Human-Animal Studies, the qualifications of the applicant to complete the research, and how well the applicant’s project complements the other accepted projects.  Special attention will be given to applicants with research in the area of animals and public policy and human-canine relationships.

Applicants will be notified by e-mail and letter January 2013.

The fellowship program is directed by Ken Shapiro, President of Animals and Society Institute, Margo DeMello, Program Director, Human Animal Studies Program at the ASI, and Wesleyan professors Lori Gruen and Kari Weil. Please address all correspondence to us at: fellowshipapplication@animalsandsociety.org