ENVI 261
Animal Biocapital and the Politics of Meat Spring 2018
Division II
Cross-listed ANTH 261 / ENVI 261
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

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.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 19
Expected: 19
Class#: 3621
Grading: yes pass/fail option, yes fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: several shorter writing assignments and a final project
Prerequisites: ENVI 101 or permission of instructor
Enrollment Preferences: Environmental Studies majors and concentrators
Distributions: Division II
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ANTH 261 Division II ENVI 261 Division II

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