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The Human-Animal Studies Report
May 2021

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

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

As the number of Calls for Papers this month show—including one from us for a Special Issue of the Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science—we are feeling positive, coming out of our pandemic shells, and looking forward to creative and productive futures. 

It is fitting that on this year’s Endangered Species Day this month’s “Animals and COVID-19” section of the Human-Animal Studies Report highlights the wildlife trade’s connections to this, and likely future, pandemics. Finding the origin of SARS-CoV-2 is crucial for fighting future zoonotic epidemics, creating drugs for treatments, and developing vaccines. It also leads us to explore how human practices related to the wildlife from whom the next pandemic might spill over to humans are affecting those animal beings.

I hope you and those you care about continue to weather the changes brought about by the pandemic, 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 will 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

Animals and COVID-19

The Wildlife Trade’s Contributions to This—and the Next—Pandemic

With a year of hindsight, we all know more about the causes of the COVID-19 pandemic and zoonotic diseases in general. The nodes of human-animal connection where coronaviruses jump species are many, including dogs, cats, birds, chickens, pigs and rodents. But in the research that has arisen this year, the primary touchpoint is between humans and wild animals. 

Finding the origin of SARS-CoV-2 is crucial for fighting future zoonotic epidemics, creating drugs for treatments, and developing vaccines. As noted by Jeremy Rossman in an April 2021 piece in ScienceFocus, “There are good reasons to look for the origins of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, although they may not directly affect our current situation or our ability to control the pandemic. If we’re able to discover the origins of the virus we may learn if there’s an unknown reservoir of the virus in some wild animal population that may pose risks of future SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks.”

Scientists now understand that this pandemic originated in bats, although here speculation diverges. It is possible that this coronavirus passed directly from horseshoe bats to humans, or that it passed through an intermediary host where it further evolved before jumping to humans. That intermediary host is thought to be the pangolin. According to an August, 2020 article in The New Yorker, in 2019 necropsies on pangolins with respiratory distress who were seized by customs police showed evidence of two viruses: One harmless to humans and one a coronavirus. Later, as researchers scrambled to find the source of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chinese researchers found that although the match overall was not that close, pangolin lung tissue did contain some gene segments that were 99% similar to parts of the SARS-CoV-2 that caused this pandemic. Knowing this led to suppositions that that viral genes were shuffled between bat and pangolin before reaching humans.

All eight species of pangolin are being pushed toward extinction due to human consumption of their bodies and trafficking of their skins and scales. Between 1975 and 2000—when their export was deemed illegal—approximately 776,000 pangolins became merchandise that was traded legally on the international market. Up to that point, the pangolin scales were primarily used in traditional Chinese medicines (that are not supported by science), while most of the skins went to North America, to be manufactured into fashion accessories like belts, handbags and boots. As the Asian populations were depleted, pangolins from Africa that had been regionally consumed as a bush-meat market commodity supplied an international trade for the skins, scales and bodies of these docile animals. By 2016 the situation was so dire that all international trade of wild-caught pangolins and their parts was declared illegal. That has not stopped the lucrative trade.

The meek pangolin certainly is not the only species imperiled by the wildlife trade even in protected areas, according to a recent online article in Science. Wildlife trafficking impacts tens of millions of individual animals, generates between $5 and $20 billion per year, and supports 150 million human families’ who eat or sell those animals livelihoods. A recent review study of 32 papers found that in unprotected areas populations, trafficked species populations declined by 65%, with a less, but still significant decline of 39% in areas that were protected.

It is unclear from which animal of these animals the next pandemic might crossover to humans. (For instance, the 2012 outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), also a coronavirus, had established itself in camels before spilling over to humans with the help of bats.) But it is safe to say that the wildlife trade offers significant chances for this type of spillover to happen by creating more instances of wild animal-human interaction at a number of levels.

As noted in an NPR piece, "We live in a kind of coronavirus world," says virologist Edward Holmes at the University of Sydney. According to Holmes, "We're only just starting to scratch the surface. The virusphere of coronaviruses is just immense." One research study from 2018 by the EcoHealth Alliance, found 3% of people tested in southern Chinese villages had been infected with an unknown coronavirus within the past few years. His research leads Holmes to caution, "I think we need to face reality here. Coronavirus pandemics are not a once in a hundred year event. The next one could come at any time. It could come in 50 years or in 10 years. Or it could be next year."

Both the search for the origins of this zoonotic pandemic and preventing the next one has implications not only for creating a safer world for humans, but also for the lives and livelihoods of the wild animals trafficked for human purposes. The general public now has a much greater awareness that human-animal connections fostered this pandemic, a global disaster that has taken more than a year of our collective effort to begin to overcome. With that knowledge comes an obligation to do what we can not only to prevent the next pandemic, but also to find solutions that reduce and ultimately stop the destruction of wildlife species with whom we share this—our shared and only—planet.


NOTE: The “Animals and COVID-19” section of this Report is copyright © 2021, the Animals & Society Institute. All rights reserved. This material may be reproduced for personal use or by not-for-profit organizations with proper credits and the web site link For other uses, no portion of this publication may be reproduced or distributed, in print or through any electronic means, without the written permission of the Animals & Society Institute. Contact


ASI is seeking applications for Board Members with non-profit finance expertise. If you have experience in nonprofit finances, we would love to talk to you. Whether you have experience working with a hands-on board or are thinking about joining a board for the first time, this may be the right opportunity for you. Learn more here.

ASI is also looking for a Grant Proposal Writer. This contracted position is responsible for actively supporting ASI programs and cultivation activities. The successful candidate will have the expertise to craft funding proposals and reports in a clear and compelling manner. Read more here.

The latest issue of the ASI-managed journal, Society & Animals is available now. Volume 29, Issue 2 contains the following articles.


Erni Gustafsson, Nabil Alawi, and Per Normann Andersen. Companion Animals and Religion: A Survey of Attitudes among Omani Students. Pages: 132–152.

Animal Theory

Political Animals

Book Review
Pages 223–225.


As a continuation and expansion of our coverage “Animals and COVID-19” in the HAS Report, the Animals & Society Institute-managed Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science (JAAWS) has issued a Call for Papers for a Special Issue dealing with original research related to "Human-Animal Relationships and Welfare in the Anthropocene: Pandemics, Climate Change, and Other Disasters." See information below in the Calls for Papers: Journals and Book Chapters section.

ASI Board President Ken Shapiro will be facilitating a panel discussing the state of the field of human-animal studies focusing on issues such as the challenges inherent in studying animals and their relationship with us, its location within the institutional structure of universities, and its relation to animal advocacy and policies  at the “Human-Animal Relations: Opportunities and Challenges in Changing Realities.” Hosted by The Community for Human-Animal Studies Israel (HASI) | The Israeli Anthropological Association in collaboration with The Coller-Menmon Animal Rights and Welfare Program at the Buchmann Faculty of Law, Tel-Aviv University, the conference will be held virtually between June 1-3, 2021, and will include special guests and participants from all over the world. Register here.

This month’s LINK-Letter from the National Resource Center on The Link between Animal Abuse and Human Violence covers: $2,500,000 in federal grants will help domestic violence shelters accept pet; criminal justice officials are learning about how animal abuse is Linked with child, domestic and elder abuse, and more.

The World Federation for Animals—a membership organization for animal protection groups whose purpose is uniting the movement by sharing information and developing focus on key policy issues impacting animals—has launched a newsletter series. Sign up here.

A research survey is open that is looking at current opinions of, and practices around, the involvement of animals in Animal Assisted Interventions (AAI) within schools and other educational settings (e.g. farms, zoos, animal rehoming centres). The research is interested in learning more about all types of AAI that take place (i.e. any interaction between students and animals within a teaching environment) including those that are aimed to support students educationally (i.e. improving reading skills, learning about animal care and development) and/or emotionally (e.g. improving concentration, relaxation and self-esteem). Take the survey HERE.

HAS Funding and Opportunities

The Faculty of Arts of the Julius-Maximilians-University Würzburg, Germany, is seeking and Assistant Professor (grade W1) for the Rural Anthropology. The candidate will represent the discipline in research and teaching in its whole breadth. Specifically, in the intended field, the professorship is dedicated to the rural work and life patterns in different regions and spaces. The conceptual integration of Multispecies Studies (or related fields such as Environmental Anthropology, Human-Animal Studies, etc.) and/or Agro-Food Studies (or related areas such as food culture research, etc.) into the analysis of the rural is welcome. Application forms and further information are available HEREDeadline is May 31, 2021.

The UK-based Society for Companion Animals (SCAS) has eight funding grants ranging from £10,000 to £10,000 to support research that furthers understanding of the human-animal bond. The human-animal bond is a mutually beneficial and dynamic relationship between people and animals that is influenced by behaviours that are essential to the health and well-being of both. This grant cycle is focused on research specifically related to companion animals and housing. Find more information HERE. Deadline is May 31, 2021.

The Brooks Institute for Animal Rights Law & Policy will consider applications for academic fellowships that have direct impact on animal law and policy in accordance with the Brooks Institute mission. There are presently two fellowship programs: 

  • The Scholars Research Fellowship to support outstanding research that will advance the fields of animal law and policy. Applications are reviewed two times per year beginning after June 1 and December 1 (with submission deadlines of May 31 and November 30, respectively).

  • The Emerging Scholar Fellowship for emerging animal law professors is an academic-year fellowship for 2L and 3L law students who are interested in pursuing a career in law teaching and who seek mentorship and an opportunity to develop a scholarly agenda in the field of animal law. The deadline to apply for the 2021-2022 fellowship is June 30, 2021.

A researcher is needed with expertise in qualitative research for a prominent position in a study regarding elders and the Human-Animal Bond in South America. (Travel is not required.) The study is financed by an international NGO dedicated to the protection of vulnerable groups and has official backing by local authorities as well as approval by an ethics committee. The researcher would join a small multidisciplinary research team in a prominent position and would lead the data analysis and the collaborative work for publication of results.  Interested parties should contact:, Coordinator for Profesionales por la Prevención de Abusos No deadline is given but the researcher must be available to begin active collaboration before the end of June 2021. 

VetVine®—an accredited veterinary continuing education provider and host of pet loss support services—is seeking pet-related grief counseling and support facilitators with expertise / experience in pet-related grief counseling and support to serve as facilitators of real-time virtual support sessions. VetVine® Virtual Pet Loss Support Groups are a place where individuals grieving the loss of a pet can convene and connect with others who have experienced the loss of a beloved animal. These are virtual sessions conducted via Zoom. Apply HERENo deadline given.

Podcasts, Webinars, Lectures, and Courses

This section includes both upcoming live events, and past events that were recorded.

This Anthro Life has a new recorded offering “The surprising truths wild horses teach us about the power of ritual, social durability, and surviving the Anthropocene with John Hartigan Jr.”

Hosted by the University of Glasgow and the University of Strathclyde, the Postgraduate Animal Studies Symposium will take place virtually on Monday, May 24-25, 2021.

The Society for the Psychology of Human-Animal Intergroup Relations (PHAIR) at the University of Kent is hosting a research talk May 27, 2021, 11am EDT/4pm BST with Catherine Forestell on Reducing Omnivores’ Desire and Intentions to Eat Meat.

The Cambridge Centre for Animal Rights Law are hosting a talk for their Talking Animals, Law & Philosophy Series on and “Rights-Holding Persons and the Personhood and Rights They Hold.”June 7, 2021

New HAS Books and Monographs

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

Bovenkerk, Bernice and Keulartz, Josef, 2021. Animals in Our Midst: The Challenges of Co-existing with Animals in the Anthropocene. The International Library of Environmental, Agricultural and Food Ethics, 33. Springer. OPEN ACCESS.

Bob Fischer, 2021. Animal Ethics: A Contemporary Introduction. Routledge.

Lori Kogan and Phyllis Erdman (Eds.), 2021. Career Paths in Human-Animal Interaction for Social and Behavioral Scientists 1st Edition. Routledge.

Raber, Karen and Dugan, Holly. 2020. The Routledge Handbook of Shakespeare and Animals. Routledge

New HAS Articles and Book Chapters

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

Almiron N, Fernández L. Including the animal standpoint in critical public relations research. Public Relations Inquiry. 2021;10(2):139-161. doi:10.1177/2046147X211005368

Marjetka Golež Kaučič, 2021. From racism to: Speciesism: The question of freedom of the other in the works of J. M. Coetzee and Jure Detela. In: María Herrera-Sobek, Francisco A. Lomelí, Luz Angélica Kirschner (Eds). Human Rights in the Americas, Routledge.

Veronica Policarpo, 2020. Daphne the Cat: Reimagining human-animal boundaries on FacebookThe Sociological Review, 68(6), 1290-1306. OPEN ACCESS.

Annie Young Song & Yanran Yao (2021) To Ban or Not to Ban: China’s Trade in Endangered Species, Journal of Contemporary China

Calls for Papers: Journals and Chapters

The Animals & Society Institute-managed Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science (JAAWS)—the leading peer-reviewed academic journal on the science of animal welfare—has issued a Call for Papers for a Special Issue dealing with original research related to "Human-Animal Relationships and Welfare in the Anthropocene: Pandemics, Climate Change, and Other Disasters." We seek research that investigates the causes, impacts, and connections between, on the one hand, animal welfare and human-animal relationships, and on the other hand, pandemics (including COVID-19), climate change, and other disasters. Submissions are welcome that address any of the various nodes, junctures and crossings that exist between these various factors. Detailed CFP and submission information, HEREThe deadline for abstract submission is June 30, 2021.

A call is out for articles for a special issue of the Journal of Ecotourism, on the topic of posthumanism and ecotourism. The call seeks original posthumanist theoretical, methodological, conceptual, and empirical manuscripts that consider how we may equitably foreground nonhumans’ (flora and fauna) rights, welfare, and agency in (eco)tourism. The deadline for abstracts is June 30, 2021.

People and Animals: The International Journal of Research and Practice has issued a call for articles on “The Impact of COVID-19 on Human-Animal Interactions in Families, Communities and Organizations.” The call is open until June 30, 2021, but articles can be submitted at any time and will be published incrementally. Submit here.

A special issue for the journal, Philosophies, "Critical Thinking and Animal Ethics" has a call out for submissions. The goal of this issue is to encourage reflection on the status of different types of arguments and persuasive attempts about ethics and animals. Abstracts could be sent either via the special issue website or to guest editors via email, Nathan NobisThe deadline for submitting abstracts is July 1, 2021. The deadline for final manuscript submissions is November 1, 2021.

A call is out from the Nesir Journal of Literary Studies for papers on Animal Studies in LiteratureAugust 1, 2021 deadline.

A call is out for articles in a special issue of Social Sciences, dealing with "Human-Animal Interactions and Issues in Criminal Justice: Toward a Humane Criminology." Guest editors Kimberly Spanjol, Cathryn Lavery, and Heath Grant, seek broad contributions of original research of application and theory of human–animal interactions in Criminal Justice. This includes issues that impact companion, wild, and farmed animals. The deadline for manuscript submissions is August 31, 2021.

A Call for Papers is out for a Special issue of the Journal of Social Psychology, “The Social Psychology of Vegetarianism and Meat Restriction: Implications of Conceptualizing Dietary Habit as a Social Identity.”  Authors who have questions about this special issue, including questions about the appropriateness of a specific submission are encouraged to contact John Nezlek ( When asking questions about a specific submission, please provide an abstract or summary of the paper. Papers are due September 1, 2021.

You are invited to contribute a scholarly essay on the topic “Communication in Defense of Nonhuman Animals During an Extinction and Climate Crisis,” to the 2022 special issue we are editing for the open-access international journal Journalism and Media. (The Article Processing Charge (APC) for open access publication in this Special Issue will be waived, which means that you have the privilege to publish your paper free of charge in an open access scholarly journal. The submission deadline is October 31, 2021.

Guest editor Kendra Coulter has a call out for a Special Issue of Animals covering “Frontiers of Animal Protection.” This Special Issue will assemble high-quality social science research that considers the social, legal, political, and employment dimensions of animal protection. Despite its importance for protecting diverse kinds of animals from human harm and the complementary benefits for vulnerable people and public safety, the animal protection landscape remains underexamined. Deadline for manuscript submissions: March 31, 2022. 

Calls for Papers: Conferences
and Workshops

A call is out for abstracts for The Manchester Centre for Political Theory MANCEPT Workshops 2021 panel, Politics, Animals, and TechnologyThe MANCEPT Workshops is an annual conference in political theory, organized under the auspices of the Manchester Centre for Political Theory. The conference will take place on September 7-10, 2021. Submission deadline is June 1, 2021.

The American Psychological Association is seeking student poster presentations (empirical or theoretical) for its virtual Human-Animal Interaction social hour during the APA convention, August 6-9, 2021. Please direct questions to Dr. Karen SchaeferSubmission deadline is June 15, 2021.

The Humans and Other Living Beings EASA Network, a working group of the European Association of Social Anthropologists, has issued a call for participation for its biennial meeting July 6, 2021, 9:30-17:00 /CET. The program, Thinking through the “More-Than-Human”: Contestations and Collaborations, will draws scholars working with different kinds of beings into direct dialogue with another. Therefore, participants will not be asked to present a paper, but rather to enter into dialogue and foster a debate on the issues that emerge from their own particular research contexts. Participants will be grouped into smaller working groups based on the species they work with, and then bring the results of those discussions to the group as a whole. Registration deadline is June 22, 2021.

A call for papers is now open for the Anthropology and Conservation conference, to take place online October 25-29, 2021. Several of the panel topics might appeal to human-animal studies scholars. The deadline is July 2, 2021.

The Centre for Privacy Studies (University of Copenhagen) and the Kent Animal Humanities Network (University of Kent, UK) are planning an online workshop in November 2021, ANIMAL / PRIVACY: Historical and Conceptual Approaches, exploring the intersections between Privacy Studies and Animal Studies. Proposals (250-300 words) for a 20-minutes paper to contribute to the workshop are due July 31, 2021.

The 2021 annual conference of the North East Popular Culture Association (NEPCA) will be virtual, taking place Oct. 21 – 23 (EDT, Thursday evening, Friday late afternoon, Saturday morning). Proposals for the Animal and Culture area are invited. Abstracts are due August 1, 2021. 

Upcoming Conferences

The free virtual conference “Witnessing and Worlding Beyond the Human: A Virtual Interdisciplinary and Interspecies Conversation” will consist of a series of five-minute lightening talks from scholars and researchers from over 30 universities and eight countries. The event format is designed to prioritize dialogue between panelists and the audience. May 28-29, 2021.

(Note: I am including the following because there are many strong parallels between how humans interact with animals and the human-plant connection.) A free online conference "Toward a New Way of Being with Plants" is slated for June 17-18, 2021. The conference will explore human/plant connections, including ethics in human treatment of plants, plant sentience and communication, and opportunities for developing more respectful and reciprocal relationships between humans and plants.

Registration is open for the 2021 ISAZ virtual conference, “The Changing Nature of Human-Animal Relationships,” June 22–24, 2021.

Registration is now open for the (virtual) 7th biennial conference of the European Association for Critical Animal Studies, June 24-25, 2021. You can view the program here. This conference is free but attendees are encouraging delegates to donate to two sanctuaries listed on the registration page. 

Hosted by the Coastal Connections seminar at the Institute of Historical Research, a panel discussion on Coastal Animals will take place June 24, 2-3.30 pm UK time.

The registration page is open for the virtual Animal Advocacy Conference produced by the University of Kent, UK, “Insights from the Social Sciences, June 30-July 2, 2021Find info and register here.  

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