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Human and Animal Relationships and Interactions (HARI)

Maastricht Summer School
Netherlands, Maastricht
Maastricht Summer School Netherlands, Bonnefantenstraat 2, 6211 KL Maastricht, The Netherlands
Tuition fee €398 per programme


Though we live with them, eat them, love them, and wear them, we give very little academic attention to the roles of animals in society. In this course, we will examine the most influential philosophic discussions around animals in society; conventional discourse around human-animal relationships; intersections between speciesism and other forms of oppression; and politics of various animal justice movements. The underlying theme of the course will be re-evaluating our understandings of animals and gauging the individual and collective responsibilities that we, as humans, must negotiate with non-human animals.

This course will also explore and consider the different types of relationships between animals and humans in contemporary society from a variety of physical, social, linguistic, legal and psychological perspectives. Topics may include companion animals, animal rights and welfare, animals and food and entertainment, and animal-assisted therapy.
This interdisciplinary course will entail:
1. Natural science approaches to understanding our fellow living beings
2. Social science methods for investigating human-animal interactions
3. Humanities-based strategies that illuminate human-animal relationships
from ethical, political, and cultural points of view

At the end of this course, students should able to:

• exhibit strong critical thinking skills in their study of the interactions between humans and nonhuman animals and of the roles of nonhuman animals in human society.
• synthesize interdisciplinary information as it relates to anthrozoology.
• identify strengths and weaknesses in arguments regarding human and nonhuman animals.
• construct a written, evidence-based argument on an HARI topic.

Furthermore, the students will:

• Understand different perspectives regarding animals
• Understand the role of zoos in society
• Understand the state-of the–art of animal emotions and animal communication

Course Duration and Dates This is a one week course running from the 27th of July until the 31st of July, 2020.

The number of credits earned after successfully concluding this course is the equivalent of 2 ECTS according to Maastricht University’s guidelines. For further information see the MSS terms and conditions

Prof. dr. Pim Martens

Animals and sustainability – that’s what Pim Martens (Maastricht Univerity) is fully committed to. He is a mathematician, science activist and is an advocate for better relationships between animals and humans.

Pim Martens is professor of ‘Sustainable Development’ at Maastricht University (Netherlands) and is a founder of AnimalWise, a “think and do tank” integrating scientific knowledge and animal advocacy to bring about sustainable change in our relationship with animals. He is also a member of the Board of House of Animals.

Instruction language

This is an interdisciplinary course, so open for students of all Faculties with a genuine interest in critical animal studies and how we, as humans, interact with them.

Recommend literature
• Hal Herzog: Some We Love, Some We Hate, Some We Eat: Why It’s So Hard to Think Straight About Animals
• Pim Martens: A Sustainable Perspective on the Relationship between Human and Non-human Animals.
• Frans de Waal: Mama’s last Hug.

Teaching methods
▪ Assignments ▪ Lectures ▪ PBL ▪ Presentations ▪ Skills ▪Trainings ▪ Work in subgroups ▪ Working Visits

Assessment methods
▪ Assignment ▪ Attendance ▪ Final paper ▪ Observation ▪ Participation ▪ Presentation ▪ Written exam

Apply now! Block 5.1 2019/20
Application deadline
Jun 8, 2020 23:59
Europe/Amsterdam time
Studies commence
Jul 27, 2020

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States

Apply now! Block 5.1 2019/20
Application deadline
Jun 8, 2020 23:59
Europe/Amsterdam time
Studies commence
Jul 27, 2020

Application deadlines apply to citizens of: United States