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The HSUS and Animals and Society Institute Announce Winners of the Animals and Society Course Awards for 2011

The Humane Society of the United States and the Animals and Society Institute have selected the winners of the 13th annual Animals and Society Course Awards. These prestigious awards recognize college and university classes that explore the relationships between animals and people.

“We have honored courses in several dozen disciplines since the launch of the awards in 1998, and this year’s entries reflect the fantastic growth of animal studies during that time,” said Kenneth Shapiro, Ph.D., executive director of the Animals and Society Institute.

“The increasing presence of animal studies courses within institutions of higher education worldwide is a true marker of expanding interest in the human-animal bond,” said Dr. Bernard Unti, senior policy adviser and special assistant to the CEO of The HSUS.

Judges from The HSUS and the Animals and Society Institute evaluated the submissions using criteria such as depth and rigor within the topic, impact on the study of animals and society, and originality of approach. The academic departments of the course award winners will each receive $1,500.

Distinguished New Course Award: “Perspectives: Werewolves, Seal Wives, Grizzly Men and Other Metamorphoses,” Karla Armbruster, English Department, Webster University (St. Louis, Missouri).
The course focuses on human-animal transformation and creatively explores conventional assumptions about human separation from and superiority to non-human animals.

Distinguished Established Course Award: “Introduction to Animal Studies,” Robert Mitchell, Department of Psychology, Eastern Kentucky University (Richmond, Kentucky).
The course is one of the few attempts at a truly cross-disciplinary syllabus and comfortably ranges over several fields: psychology; history; philosophy; social justice; and cultural studies. It is part of the newly launched animal studies major at Eastern Kentucky University, arguably the first undergraduate major of its kind in the world.

Honorable Mention, Distinguished New Course Award: “Animals, People, and Nature,” Linda Kalof and Molly Tamulevich, Department of Sociology, Michigan State University (Lansing, Michigan).
The richness of this undergraduate course reflects the scope of the volume co-edited by Linda Kalof and Amy Fitzgerald, The Animals Reader, and is further enriched by multimedia and interdisciplinary materials.

Honorable Mention, Distinguished New Course Award: “A History of Animals in the Atlantic World,” Abel Alves, Associate Professor of History, Ball State University (Muncie, Indiana).
The course represents a bold attempt to inject a multicultural dimension into human-animal studies as practiced in the field of Atlantic history.

Media Contact: Stephanie Twining, 301-258-1491, stwining@humanesociety.org

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