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Human-Animal Studies (EN)

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Baloo and Shere Khan in The Jungle Book. The mouse in your house. The ducks in the pond. The cat in your lap. The veal on your plate. The march of the penguins. The rabbit in the cage. The robin on your webcam. The bugs in the bush. The lion in the zoo. The dog video in your mail. Animals are everywhere, all the time. In our human lives and society, in our human cultures and imagination. For some people they are mere critters or simply food, for others they are amongst the most significant others in their lives - just as we are for them.

Human-Animal Studies is about us, humans, and the relations we have with other animals. It is a new academic discipline, combining theories and research from fields as diverse as history, sociology, philosophy, anthropology, media studies - and even some biology.

In this course, we will explore the origins of this new interdisciplinary field, figure out why and how traditional disciplines have contributed to this so-called 'animal turn' in academia, and imagine what this all means for our current and future relations with other animals.

The course consists of a series of twelve lectures. No prior knowledge is required.


Drs. M.C.C.J. Reesink

Learning objectives

  • Recognise and understand the dominant theoretical approaches, concepts and ideas in the field of Human-Animal Studies.
  • Reproduce knowledge about and insights into the main discussions and developments in this field.
  • Critically analyse, assess and evaluate the different arguments about the roles and meanings of animals in contemporary (human) societies and cultures.
  • Apply these ideas and insights on current actual issues and/or (own) experiences in a written exam.

Teaching format



Final (written) exam

Study material

Literature: to be announced.


You can find the timetable on Datanose.

Entry requirements

Open to second and third year bachelor students.


This course is open for UvA students and other interested parties, such as contract students or students from other institutions. You can register from 1 December until a week before the start of the course. 

Registration UvA students (look for code: 5512HUAS6Y).

Registration other interested parties

If you have any trouble while registering please contact: 


Check the website

Number of participants


High school students​

High school students are also welcome, see here for more information. 

If you have any trouble while registering please contact: 

child with dog in cart
Facts & Figures
Mode Short-term, open uva courses
Credits 6 ECTS,
Language of instruction English
Conditions for admission Open
Starts in April