Human-Animal Studies Speaker Series

Each year the HAST program brings faculty, students, and community members together for a lecture series featuring world-renowned animal scholars and activists. These lectures (usually three per year) draw a mixed and lively audience of from fifty to one hundred fifty people. Past themes of the Series have included the mental lives of farmed animals, shared human-animal experiences at the margins of society, and living at the wildlife-urban interface. The lectures are followed by Q and A time and informal conversations.

Students are given the opportunity to make personal connections with our lecturers at dinners and beyond. Past speakers have included marine biologist Lori Marino, animal ethologist Marc Bekoff, Farm Sanctuary founder Gene Baur, and ecofeminist author Carol J. Adams.

Upcoming Speakers

Guest Speakers: Dr. Netzin Steklis and Dr. Dieter Steklis
Topic: Getting Emotional about Animals
Date/Time: Tuesday, February 11th, 7:00-8:30PM
Location: Casa Loma Room

Humans may well be unusual in their capacity to form lasting bonds to a variety of other animal species. Pet-keeping and use of domesticated animals for a variety of purposes are prominent examples of this capacity which is grounded in attitudes and feelings we have toward other animals. We lack a thorough understanding of the complexity of both our feelings toward other animals and the kinds of emotions they experience, despite the many popular publications about the human-animal bond and recent claims by experts about the emotional lives of animals.

In this presentation we will draw on our research and field experience with wild mountain gorillas to show that viewing our connection to other animals through an evolutionary and comparative lens sheds new light on the origin and diversity of the human-animal relationship—our “animality”—and why this compels us to reconsider how we should treat other animals.


Previous HAST Speakers