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Steve ScarpaMarch 15, 20227min
As an undergraduate contemplating what to study – perhaps even what to do with her life – Lori Gruen, William Griffin Professor of Philosophy, took a philosophy class that had a section on animal ethics. “It completely changed my life. It is why I became a philosopher. I’ve been involved in thinking about animal ethics now for about forty years,” Gruen said. “As it turns out, for a lot of students, animal ethics is their entry into philosophy.” Her research into the topic is going deeper thanks to a Brooks Institute Scholars Research Fellowship, administered by the Brooks Institute for…

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Lauren RubensteinFebruary 13, 20204min
Wesleyan in the News 1. Hartford Courant: "Jeanine Basinger, the 'Professor of Hollywood,' Is Wesleyan University's Homegrown Screen Legend" Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies, Emerita Jeanine Basinger, whom this article notes has been dubbed “the professor of Hollywood” and “an iconic figure in American cinema, one of the most beloved and respected film history professors in the history of film studies” by The Hollywood Reporter, is interviewed on the occasion of her 60th year at Wesleyan, and the 50th since she created its film program. She talks about her next book on American film comedy, shares some of her favorite things,…

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Lauren RubensteinDecember 2, 20194min
In this recurring feature in The Wesleyan Connection, we highlight some of the latest news stories about Wesleyan and our alumni. Wesleyan in the News CNN: "What the ‘Woke Student’ and the ‘Welfare Queen’ Have in Common" "Every age seems to need a bogeyman, some negative image against which good people measure themselves," writes President Michael Roth '78 in this op-ed. Roth compares today's bogeyman, the "woke" college student, with those of past eras—the "welfare queen" and "dirty hippie"—and seeks to build understanding and dispel negative misperceptions of activist college students. "The images of the welfare queen and of the woke…

Olivia DrakeOctober 21, 20192min
Elan Abrell, a fellow in animal studies and philosophy, will be a panelist at 92nd Street Y’s first-ever Food Summit on Nov. 9. The Summit will explore the future of what and how we eat and will include some of the most dynamic and influential figures in the culinary world. Guests will discuss how food brings us together, the future of cookbook publishing, mental health in the food industry, how immigrant chefs continue to transform American cuisine, and much more. Abrell's panel will focus on the topic of "Meat: The Future." He will join experts from the fields of anthropology,…

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Cynthia RockwellAugust 13, 20192min
In this recurring feature in The Wesleyan Connection, we highlight some of the latest news stories about Wesleyan and our alumni. Wesleyan in the News 1. Inside Higher Ed: 'Safe Enough Spaces' President Michael Roth is interviewed about defending free speech, inclusion on campus, and affirmative action, among other topics, in connection with the forthcoming publication of his new book, Safe Enough Spaces: A Pragmatist's Approach to Inclusion, Free Speech, and Political Correctness on College Campuses, due out Aug. 20 from Yale University Press. 2. The New York Times: "The World's Smartest Chimp Has Died" William Griffin Professor of Philosophy Lori Gruen writes in…

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Lauren RubensteinJanuary 30, 20183min
Wesleyan faculty frequently publish articles based on their scholarship in The Conversation US, a nonprofit news organization with the tagline, "Academic rigor, journalistic flair." Lori Gruen, the William Griffin Professor of Philosophy, has written a piece explaining how philosophers determine what is the right, or ethical, thing to do. Gruen also is professor of feminist, gender and sexuality studies, professor of science in society, and coordinator of animal studies. Read her bio in The Conversation.  How should we decide what to do?  How many times do we wonder, "What’s the right thing to do?" Most of us are faced with ethical…

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Olivia DrakeOctober 14, 20152min
This month, Lori Gruen accepted a three-year appointment as a Faculty Fellow at Tufts' Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine's Center for Animals and Public Policy. Gruen is the William Griffin Professor of Philosophy, professor of feminist, gender and sexuality studies, and professor of environmental studies at Wesleyan. She also coordinates Wesleyan Animal Studies. The mission of the Tufts University's Center for Animals and Public Policy (CAPP) is to conduct and encourage scholarly evaluation and understanding of the complex societal issues and public policy dimensions of the changing role and impact of animals in society. As a Faculty Fellow, Gruen will explore human-animal relationships with Tufts…

Lauren RubensteinMarch 12, 20152min
Kari Weil, the University Professor of Letters, was a guest on WNPR's "The Faith Middleton Show" to discuss how our evolving understanding of animals should affect how we treat them personally and professionally. They began by discussing the announcement that Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey would stop using elephants in their circus performances within three years. "I think there is a fine line between use and abuse," said Weil."I don't think all use is abuse. I think animals depend on us, we depend on them. We can use certain animals for certain things, but when we're down to exploitive techniques like bull hooks…

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Olivia DrakeMarch 3, 20152min
Lori Gruen, professor and chair of philosophy, professor of environmental studies, and professor of feminist, gender and sexuality studies, is the author of a new book, Entangled Empathy: An Alternative Ethic for Our Relationships with Animals, published by Lantern Books on Feb. 15. In Entangled Empathy, Gruen argues that rather than focusing on animal rights, we ought to work to make our relationships with animals right by empathetically responding to their needs, interests, desires, vulnerabilities, hopes and unique perspectives. Pointing out that we are already entangled in complex and life-altering relationships with other animals, Gruen guides readers through a new way…

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Bryan Stascavage '18February 13, 20154min
Lori Gruen, chair and professor of philosophy, was a distinguished guest speaker at the third Minding Animals Conference (MAC) in New Delhi, India on Dec. 7. Gruen also is professor of environmental studies, professor of feminist, gender and sexuality studies. During the conference, Gruen discussed "Entangled Empathy," which is the topic of her most recent book. Gruen notes "that we are already entangled in complex and life-altering relationships with other animals and argues for a version of empathy as a way of rethinking and practicing animal ethics." She also sat on a panel that discussed the state of the field of animal studies and led…

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Bill HolderFebruary 3, 20153min
Stray dogs are everywhere in Santiago, Chile. They lie on sidewalks, wander the parks, and even cross busy streets unaided. No one seems to mind; they’re just part of the culture. For Kari Weil, University Professor of Letters, they also were a striking reminder of the purpose of her recent trip to Santiago. At the invitation of the U.S. Embassy there, she visited the Pontificia Catholic University of Chile Jan. 6-9 to discuss current trends in American animal studies. Although academics have studied animals from various perspectives for a long time, animal studies as a cross-disciplinary field has come into its own…