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The Human-Animal Studies Report
August 2020
Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Welcome to the current issue of the Animals & Society Institute's Human-Animal Studies Report. 

While the global COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted our lives, travel, and academic institutions, it appears that we may be settling somewhat into an adaptive pattern on at least one front. Check out the uptick in calls for virtual conferences, and journal and book contributions this month! 

Our Animals and COVID-19 section continues to present and analyze aspects of how the virus is affecting animals and people. This month I focus on how humans and companion animals are helping each other. (Note: Other COVID-related surveys, articles and calls appear interspersed below.)

I hope you and those you care about continue to weather the changes brought about by the pandemic as well as you can, and that you all stay healthy and safe!


Editor’s note: The HAS e-newsletter is organized as follows: Jobs, grants, and calls are ordered chronologically by deadline dates, with the earliest first, and will continue to be posted until the deadlines expire. Books and articles include, where possible, links to access them directly from this email. Because publication reference styles vary by source, they might not always be consistent or pretty, but they should get you there. To read more about the topics discussed, click the bold hyperlinks for source material and additional information.

Please send your comments, suggestions, and submissions to:, and if possible include a URL link to your project or announcement.

Animals and COVID-19

Humans and Companion Animals Helping Each Other

Companion animals can lower stress and anxiety, help keep people active, and according to WebMD, a dog in a meeting can increase trust, team cohesion, camaraderie and, ultimately, productivity. A recent article by the American Association of Retired Persons, Pets and Their People During the Coronavirus Pandemic: How animals are helping make lockdowns more bearable, provided snippets of people’s comments about their animals’ contributions to their lives during the pandemic, showing that during this stressful time, people’s animals have helped them cope: 

  • “I feel very blessed to have the ability to ride on the trails during the pandemic. For a brief and precious time, I feel at peace. My horses have always been my sanctuary,” 

  • “I’m the therapy-dog coordinator for a hospital, and my two golden­doodles are certified. They haven’t been doing therapy since the pandemic, but life would be much lonelier if I did not have them. My husband and I have lost dear friends to the illness, and the dogs have been a source of comfort, not only to us but to other people.”

Pandemic-related stay-at-home orders and the shift for many to working from home have also benefitted companion animals with 24-7 companionship they may not have had before. Brian Hare, PhD, Professor of Evolutionary Anthropology, Director of Duke Canine Cognition Center concurs that During A Pandemic, Dogs Are Essential Citizens. He also notes that being home during the pandemic can be an opportunity bring home new companion dogs. But this is not without potential difficulties. According to Hare, staying home means that young dogs will not have the opportunity to be properly socialized in order to build confidence and decrease fear and aggression. They also need to spend time alone now, so that once their humans go back to work they do not develop separation anxiety. 
Given all the benefits, of course it is understandable that as people found themselves uncertain, lonely, and with more time on their hands in the first part of the pandemic, both adoptions and fosters were up. In most cases that trend appeared to be holding steady as of late July, with shelters adapting to virtual adoptions and socially-distant clinics. One study ranked US cities by the increase animal adoption-related Google search terms, with one city (Berkeley, California) posting an over-50% increase from January to June.

However, while adoptions might be up, so too are we seeing shelter abandonments on the rise. Concerns come from the U.K Kennel Club, which has warned people this might not be the time for impulse buying animals without considering their future, as “there's a worry animals will be abandoned once life goes back to normal and people no longer spend so much time at home.” That worry appears warranted. Although life is nowhere near back to normal in the UK or US, as of early July about 40 pets a day were being abandoned across England and Wales, according to the RSPCA. That concern is shared by Jayne Bashford, the RSPCA's chief inspector for Cambridgeshire who has “seen 30% of our usual annual total for abandoned animals in just three months." Bashford sees concerns about the future driving the spike in abandonments, as people decide they can no longer afford to keep a pet. This appears to be the precisely the case in some instances: As the State of Alabama spiked in coronavirus cases, Alabama animal shelters were overrun as people ditched pets adopted during pandemic

In most cases, the abandonments appear cost-related—people have lost their jobs and simply cannot afford to care for their companion animals. Organizations are stepping up with both advice and assistance. According to the ASPCA, there are several agencies that are trying to help caretakers keep their companion animals during this pandemic, which are listed on its website. Other organizations, including RedRover, a national nonprofit animal welfare organization, have resource programs for those in need of help covering costs. Other groups, such as Drifter’s Hearts of Hope in Colorado and the Kentucky Horse Council’s Equine Safety Net program, are also offering help to equine owners during the pandemic. 

Our tasks at this point would seem to be both helping to get information about resources out to those in need, and supporting organizations that are trying to help. Toward that end, please circulate the resources above if you think the messages might reach people in need. Also, so that I can help spread the word, please email me at other resources you may come across to help people keep their companion animals.


ASI is pleased to announce the completion of three of our latest Human-Animal Studies International Development Projects (HASIDP). The purpose of these competitive, annual program is to provide one non-American university per year with the financial and knowledge-based resources to build its own HAS program. The selected universities have received financial and consultative support, including the creation of courses, marketing support, cultivation of institutional and extra-institutional partners, and administrative support. In addition to the Human-Animal Studies program at the Universidad de Lisboa, Lisbon, Portugal we previously reported on, both the University of the Western Cape, Cape Town, South Africa and the University of Athens, Athens, Greece have also launched their HAS programs. We are happy to celebrate their first HAS semesters with the universities! Read more about ASI’s HASIDP HERE.

ASI’s Human-Animal Studies Facebook group is becoming quite a community, now with over 1500 members! Join us there to hear about, discuss, and post newly published scholarly research, blogs, CfPs, surveys, and news items!


In this month’s LINK-Letter from the National Resource Center on The Link between Animal Abuse and Human Violence: Congress is considering including animal abuse histories in its national child abuse data-collection system. Animal abuse is being linked with financial abuse in domestic violence. There is also a handy fact sheet for veterinarians who are reluctant to report suspected animal abuse.

The Society for the Study of Ethics and Animals (SSEA) has launched a new teaching and research website, On the Animal Ethics from the Margins (AEfM). On it, you will find an "early career bibliography," classic texts about animals (books and journal articles) written by women philosophers, videos about animal ethics by marginalized scholars, and a news section, which will be updated daily to reflect recent accomplishments (e.g., new publications) of animal ethicists from the margins. Check it out and subscribe to the news section!

Animal Magic Films has published a new mini-documentary about the program Canine Commandos Inc., a program which helps shelter animals through socializing and training.

The Institute for Human-Animal Connection is having a virtual information session about it online professional development certificate, Animals and Human Health on Friday, August 28th from 12 - 1 pm US-MST. Register HERE.

This sub-section allows us all to assist established and emerging researchers in understanding aspects of human-animal relationships. (And I don’t know about you, but I find them fun.) Let’s help out these scholars!

You are invited to participate in a study about the human-dog relationship conducted by students at LaTrobe University. It is thought that various attitudes and beliefs may influence people’s intentions to help homeless dogs, such as by engaging in dog-fostering or donating money or time to an animal shelter or rescue group. These attitudes and beliefs, in turn, are typically predicted by a range of individual differences, such as aspects of a person’s personality and their core values. Levels of empathy and one’s basic orientation towards animals (for example, whether they are perceived as sentient beings or mindless automatons) might also influence people’s helping intentions towards homeless dogs. Currently, not much is known about the influence of such factors on people’s dog-helping intentions. We hope to learn more about individual differences and whether they can be used to explain how people relate to homeless dogs. We have designed this online survey to address this issue.

Researchers at La Trobe University, Victoria, Australia, are asking companion animal caretakers over 18 who read and write English to assist in a study exploring the risks and benefits of pet ownership during the COVID-19 pandemic. The study examined relationships between pet owner wellbeing and health, and pet welfare. 

HAS Funding and Opportunities

A competitive position is available at Purdue University for a highly motivated and promising individual seeking a Masters or PhD related to the psychology of human-animal interaction with Dr. Maggie O’Haire. The successful applicant will be housed within the Center for the Human-Animal Bond at Purdue University. The research program will focus on several areas of human-animal interaction research, primarily the scientific evaluation of the efficacy of service dogs for military veterans with PTSD and their families. Applications due November 1, 2020.

Harvard Law School’s Animal Law & Policy Program is inviting immediate applications for a full-time, six-month Fellowship to manage a research project studying policy responses to live animal markets, also called “wet markets”—sites around the world that have been known to facilitate the transmission of zoonotic diseases like avian flu, SARS, and COVID-19. NYU’s Center for Environmental and Animal Protection, University of Denver’s Sturm College of Law, and potentially other academic institutions will be collaborating with HLS on this project. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, so applicants are encouraged to submit their materials as soon as possible. Work will commence as soon as a candidate is selected. The Fellow does not need to live in the Cambridge area as all work will be performed remotely. For further information, contact Chris Green at 

Applications are now open for funded PhD scholarships at Curtin University for domestic Australian candidates working in areas aligned with the research program Posthumanities, Animalities, Environments: Transformative Concepts and Methods for the AnthropoceneNo deadline given. Contact: Matthew Chrulew,

New HAS Books and Monographs

Following are some recent books published of interest to the field of Human-Animal Studies.

Sarat Colling, 2020. Animal Resistance in the Global Capitalist Era: The Animal Turn. Michigan State University Press.

Jason Hannan (ed.), 2020. Meatsplaining: The Animal Agriculture and the Rhetoric of DenialSydney University Press 

Erin McKenna, 2020. Living with Animals: Rights, Responsibilities, and Respect. Rowman & Littlefield.

S. Marek Muller. 2020. Impersonating Animals: Rhetoric, Ecofeminism, and Animal Rights Law. Michigan State University Press

Deborah Nadal. 2020. Rabies in the Streets: Interspecies Camaraderie in Urban India. Penn. State U.P.

Kathryn, L. Smithies, 2020. Introducing the Medieval Ass. University of Wales Press.

New HAS Articles and Book Chapters

Following are some recent research articles and book chapters published in the field of Human-Animal Studies.

New journal: The inaugural issue of the International Journal of Humane Education (IJHE) is now available! As the first peer-reviewed journal of its kind, IJHE strives to build a scholarly community, expand a collective knowledge base, and validate the quality of research within all sectors of humane education. This issue of IJHE includes scholar-practitioner articles and an invitational essay on various aspects of humane education in practice and theory.

Bhan, M., & Bose, P., 2020. Canine counterinsurgency in Indian-occupied Kashmir. Critique of Anthropology40(3), 341–363.

Reinaldo Funes-Monzote, Susan Nance, Gabriel N. Rosenberg, Joshua Specht, Sandra Swart, 2020. Roundtable: Animal History in a Time of CrisisAgricultural History, 94(3). 

Nitin Sekar and Derek Shiller, 2020. Engage with animal welfare in conservationScience, 369(6504), 629-630. DOI: 10.1126/science.aba7271

Rebecca Walker, 2020. The Unfinished Business of Respect for Autonomy: Persons, Relationships, and Nonhuman AnimalsJournal of Medicine and Philosophy: A Forum for Bioethics and Philosophy of Medicine, 45(4-5), 521-539.

Cory Wren, 2020. Breaking the Spell: A Critique of Intersectionality and Veganism in Anti-Racist Activism. Review of Aph Ko, Racism as Zoological Witchcraft: A Guide to Getting Out. Society & Animals, 28, 327-330.

Calls for Papers: Journals

The Green European Journals has issued a call for papers: Understanding Covid-19 and Shaping the Post-Pandemic World. The issue will cover the questions: How can green thinking inform broader social and ecological understandings of health? How has the Covid-19 crisis shifted the political terrain? What narratives about a post-pandemic world are open for green politics? Pitches should be sent to and The deadline for pitches and ideas is August 24, 2020.

The Media, Communication and Cultural Studies Association (MeCCSA) journal Networking Knowledge seeks abstracts from postgraduate and early career researchers for a special issue on “Climate, Creatures and COVID-19: Environment and Animals in 21st Century Media Discourse” from any disciplinary perspective or across disciplines, including both quantitative and qualitative methodologies. Please submit a 500-word abstract (not including references) and 100-word bio to the journal guest editor Rebecca Jones bySeptember 1, 2020. 

Call for Papers for Special Issue, “Animal Futurity: A Speculative Exploration of the Future of Human-Animal Relations.” The editors therefore welcome papers that engage with any type of cultural and theoretical production implicated in the future of the animal from any subject discipline or interdisciplinary perspective, including literary studies, art and art history, philosophy, legal studies, biomedical sciences, media studies, anthropology, and more. Abstracts of 250-300 words are due by September 2020 bearing in mind that resulting research articles should be between 5,000 and 9,000 words (including title, abstract, notes and references). Please direct all submissions and enquiries to and

Editors Susan McHugh (University of New England) and Robert McKay (University of Sheffield) have put out a call for proposals for chapters for a forthcoming volume titled Animal Satire. The interest is on essays that focus on animals, cultural history of what might be called animalist satire, and/or of animal imagery in the history of satire. The editors’ firm preference is for contributions that find nonhuman animals themselves somewhere in the satirical field of vision. For more information and to submit your abstract, email and smchugh@une.eduAbstracts of 300 words are sought by November 30, 2020.

The Human Animal Interaction (HAI) Section of the American Psychological Association has issued a call for papers for a special issue covering “Therapies Incorporating Horses to Benefit People: What are They and How are They Distinct?” Please direct any inquiries (e.g., suitability, format, scope, etc.) about this special issue to the guest editor: Wendy Wood wendy.wood@colostate.eduThe deadline for manuscript submittal is November 30, 2020.

Call for papers: Special Issue of the journal Diversity on "Humans and Wild Animals: Interactions in Deep Time, Recent History, and Now.Deadline for manuscript submissions is December 1, 2020. 

The open-access journal, Animals, will publish a special issue on "Social Isolation and the Roles That Animals Play in Supporting the Lives of Humans: Lessons for COVID19." Deadline for manuscript submissions is April, 30 2021.

Calls for Papers: Conferences
and Workshops

A CfP is out for a session on "Impound, Outlaw," sponsored by the Rossell H. Robbins Library, at the International Congress on Medieval Studies (May 13-15, 2021 at Western Michigan University). This session focuses on imprisonment, ambiguous social or legal standing, and other states of exception as conditions which often invited comparison between the human and non-human in the Middle Ages. To be considered for this session, please send abstracts of 300 words or less to by September 15, 2020.

The Equine History Collective has a CfP out for the session "From the Battlefield to the Plough: The Human-Horse Relationship in the Middle Ages" at the Kalamazoo, Michigan 56th International Congress on Medieval Studies (May 13-15, 2021). The session is aimed at encouraging interdisciplinary dialogue on the subject of the horse in the Medieval world (roughly 500-1500 CE) to promote a better understanding of the role this important animal played in war, literature and daily life. Submit abstracts of 250 words HERE by September 15, 2020. Direct questions to Chelsea Shields-Más

Call for Papers: Multispecies Heritage conference. November 26-27, 2020. This conference, organized by the Multispecies Storytelling network, asks how multispecies approaches can be used to understand more-than-human heritage and explore the epistemological, methodological and policy implications of such thinking. Proposals are invited from various disciplines including media studies, communication studies, cultural studies, geography, history, philosophy, literature, sociology, art, and anthropology. As well as ‘traditional’ papers, creative works that engage with the conference themes are welcome.  Please submit abstracts of 250 words, a brief biographical note, institutional affiliation, and time zone by the deadline of September 23, 2020 to: and

The European Association for Critical Animal Studies has issued a call for presentation proposals for a conference, Animal Futures: Animal rights in activism and academia, to be held in Viljandi, Estonia on May 8-9, 2021. The deadline is September, 30, 2020. 

An international and interdisciplinary conference held by the Research Centre “European Dream Cultures” of the German Research Foundation (DFG) has issued a call for papers on “Dreams and the Animal Kingdom in Culture and Aesthetic Media” to be held September 23-25, 2021 at Saarland University, Saarbrücken (Germany). Submit proposals to no later than January 15, 2021.

Save the Date: The Minding Animals—Animals and Climate Emergency Conference (ACEC) conference and events will be held over 22 to 29 July, 2021, in Sydney, Australia, in a central Sydney city venue. A conference registration website and the call for abstracts will appear mid-year. In the meantime, please see for further information. For information, please contact Rod Bennison at

Meetings, Conferences and Presentations

Below are upcoming meetings and conferences for which the submission deadlines have passed, or for which submissions were not requested.

Please join contributors to Penn State University Press’ Animalibus: Of Animals and Cultures series and the AnthropoScene series for a virtual panel on Friday August 28, 2020 at 4:00 pm US/EST. Nigel Rothfels will moderate and authors Marcus Baynes-Rock, Louise Green, Susan McHugh, Deborah Nadal will discuss their books and answer your questions. Free registration here:

The ISAZ 2020 conference will be going virtual, September 3-5, 2020. In addition, the satellite seminar, "Putting Animals at the Centre of Animal Assistance" held virtually on Tuesday, September 1st is FREE for all ISAZ members. The conference theme is "One Health, One Welfare: Wellbeing for All in Human-Animal Interactions." This year's virtual conference will feature five live expert plenaries, seven live interactive workshops, and almost 200 oral/poster presentations that you can access at your leisure. Join us to share and hear about cutting edge anthrozoology research from international researchers around the globe. View the program, posters, presentations, and livestream details.

Registration for the online Environmental History Workshop is now open. The number of attendees is capped at 100. The keynote will be given by Dr Christienna Fryar (Goldsmiths University). The workshop will also feature a forum to mark the life and work of Richard Grove. This will take place on September 8, 2020 at 12:00 BST. There will be no cap on registration for this event. 

The annual Canadian Animal Law Conference (online this year, Sept. 11-13, 2020) is an annual conference focused on animal law, with an emphasis on Canada and North America, but informed by global approaches. The conference features an online exciting program with thought-provoking presentations by leading experts from around the world, including lawyers, scholars, scientists, and advocates. Anyone is welcome to attend, and the program is of interest to both legal and non-legal audiences. 

The BASN has switched to an online format with this meeting, “Animal Borderlands.” Session 1 – ‘Living in the Borderlands’ – Friday 18th September; Session 2 – ‘Narrating, negotiating and performing border crossings’ – Friday 25th September; Plenary: Raf de Bont (University of Maastricht) – ‘Moving/Being Moved: Wildlife, Humans & Globalization’
Session 3 – ‘The human-animal interface’ – Friday 2nd October. Plenary: Marcus Coates (Visual artist) – ‘Exploring the human/animal border through art’ PLEASE NOTE - The three sessions are separate events on different days. Please select a separate ticket for each of the sessions you would like to attend when prompted on the meeting Eventbrite pageBooking closes on September, 16, 2020.

As you can see, there is a tremendous amount of activity and progress going on today in the field of Human-Animal Studies, and we always invite your input and participation.

Your donation to the Animals & Society Institute will enable us to continue to expand the field in many more ways and work in conjunction with others around the world who share these goals.

Thank you for supporting our Human-Animal Studies efforts!

Gala Argent, PhD
Human-Animal Studies Program Director