ENVI 261 Spring 2017 Animal Biocapital and the Politics of Meat

Cross Listed as ANTH261
What does it mean to "produce" animal flesh? To "invent" an organism? To patent life? It has been just 40 years since a contributor to the journal Hog Farm Management infamously declared that farmers should "forget the pig is an animal," and "treat him just like a machine in a factory." In that time, challenging questions over the legal and ethical status of farmed and laboratory animals have only grown more urgent and complex, as courts in the U.S. multiply the rights of firms to alter and patent living organisms, and accelerating biotechnologies expand the ways in which capital and biology intersect. This course examines the culture and politics of industrial animal husbandry and the production of animal biocapital. We will explore the legal structures that enable (and occasionally limit) the ownership of life, and we will seek alternative views on the human-animal relationships that remain (for now) at the center of the factory farm. Contemporary and historical accounts of the industrial hog and broiler chicken industries will serve as primary case studies, along with recent developments in industrial aquaculture and military bioengineering.
Class Format: seminar
Requirements/Evaluation: several shorter writing assignments and a final project
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Prerequisites: ENVI 101 or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preference: Environmental Studies majors and concentrators
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Divisional Attributes: Division II
Other Attributes: ENVI Humanities, Arts + Social Science Electives,ENVI Environmental Policy,ENVP PE-A Group Electives,ENVP PE-B Group Electives,ENVP PTL-A Group Electives,ENVP SC-A Group Electives
Enrollment Limit: 19
Expected Enrollment: 19
Class Number: 3640
ENVI 261 - 01 (S) SEM Animal Biocapital/PoliticsMeat Division 2: Social Studies Les E. Beldo
TR 11:20 AM-12:35 PM Class of '66 Env Ctr Room 104 3640
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