OSU course weaves 'critical animal studies' into feminism, social justice

The Ohio State University will be offering a course on “critical animal studies” this fall to explore how societal structures “facilitate and underpin animal subjection in its various levels and forms.”

Tobias Linne, a Swedish professor who has built something of a career in the field at Lund University, will be visiting OSU this fall to teach the course, in which students will learn how “speciesism” corresponds with racism and sexism.

“What is speciesism and how does it interact with racism and sexism?” an advertisement for the course obtained by Campus Reform asks. “How can feminist insights about oppression be used to call attention to the inequities of power between humans and animals? What place do animals have in struggles of social justice?”

Linne will teach the course in OSU’s Department of Women’s, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, which did not respond to inquiries from Campus Reform.

An online description for the course Linne developed at Lund, though, calls it “an introduction and an orientation to the burgeoning, multi-disciplinary field of critical animal studies.”

“While CAS’s focus is very much on the topic of the animal specifically, the way in which it integrates a pursuit to uncover the way in which power manifests and frames our relations, into scholarly inquiry, could be considered akin to what distinguishes the approaches taken by other ‘critical fields’ such as gender or post-colonial studies, to name a few,” an accompanying overview states. “This means that one key aspect of CAS is a holistic understanding of the commonality of oppressions, such that speciesism, sexism, ableism, statism, classism, militarism, and other hierarchical ideologies and institutions are viewed as part of a larger interlocking global system of domination.”

Students enrolled in the bi-weekly course will receive three credits upon successful completion, though the course does not appear to count toward any general education requirements.

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