Lori Gruen is organizing the upcoming symposium titled “Protecting Great Apes: How Science and Ethics Contribute to Conservation.” (Photo by John Van Vlack)
A diverse group of primate researchers will convene at Wesleyan on April 22 for a day-long symposium about the relationship between humans and the other great apes – chimpanzees, bonobos, orangutans and gorillas. The schedule is online here.
“Protecting Great Apes: How Science and Ethics Contribute to Conservation” will feature presentations by anthropologists, psychologists, primatologists and conservationists who study or advocate for non-human great apes in the wild and in captivity. Discussions will follow each talk, with an emphasis on chimpanzee behavior and the ethical treatment of non-human great apes.
“We’re in this complicated and increasingly intense relationship with the other great apes,” says Lori Gruen, associate professor of philosophy and the symposium’s principal organizer. “If chimps and other great apes were living in their worlds undisturbed by our activities, we wouldn’t have to raise questions about our relationship to them.”
Gruen is currently teaching a course called “Primate Encounters,” in which students examine
Lori Gruen, chair of the Philosophy Department, associate professor of feminist, gender and sexuality studies, associate professor of environmental studies, is the author of Ethics and Animals: An Introduction, published by Cambridge University Press in March 2011.
In this comprehensive introduction to animal ethics, Gruen weaves together poignant and provocative case studies with discussions of ethical theory, urging readers to engage critically and empathetically reflect on their treatment of other animals. She provides a survey of the issues central to human-animal relations and a reasoned new perspective on current key debates in the field. She analyzes and explains a range of theoretical positions and poses challenging questions that directly encourage readers to hone their ethical reasoning skills and to develop a defensible position about their own practices.
Her book will be an invaluable resource for students in a wide range of disciplines including ethics, environmental studies, veterinary science, women’s studies, and the emerging field of animal studies and is an engaging account of the subject for general readers with no prior background in philosophy.
Her book includes studies of provocative cases to illustrate difficult ethical dilemmas and provides key points of reference for discussion of ethical theories concerning the relationship between humans and animals.
Karen Emmerman, a graduate student in philosophy at the University of Washington, speaks on “What’s Love Got to Do With It? Partiality, Human Interests, and Inter-animal Conflicts” at the Sex, Gender, Species conference Feb. 25-26. Wesleyan Animal Studies and The Center for the Study of Public Life sponsored the event, which explored the intersections between feminism and animal studies and the practical and theoretical problems central to both fields.
Sixteen speakers from a range of disciplines in the sciences, social sciences, humanities and the arts will focus on a variety of topics addressing human-animal relations and their representations.
Sex, Gender, Species is the title of an international conference being hosted by Wesleyan Animal Studies and The Center for the Study of Public Life on Feb. 25-26.
The conference will explore the intersections between feminist and animal studies and the practical and theoretical problems central to both fields. Speakers from a range of disciplines in the sciences, social sciences, humanities and the arts will focus on a variety of topics addressing human-animal relations and their representations.
“The growing field of animal studies has turned critical attention to the real conditions and stakes of human relationships with other animals,” says Lori Gruen, conference co-organizer and associate professor, philosophy, associate professor, feminist, gender and sexuality studies. “We were overwhelmed by the quality and quantity of the response to our call for papers and are looking forward to an intellectually rich conference.”
The conference has five sessions. Friday, Feb. 25, will feature presentations
Wesleyan University and the Animals and Society Institute (ASI) have formed a partnership and will offer the “ASI-WAS Human-Animal Studies Summer Fellowship” in 2011 through Wesleyan’s recently-launched College of the Environment.
The ASI-WAS Human-Animal Studies Summer Fellowship marks the launch of Wesleyan Animal Studies (WAS), which will advance the rapidly growing field of Animal Studies and foster scholarship on human-animal relations from a variety of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives.
The fellowship will be hosted by Wesleyan faculty Lori Gruen and Kari Weil. Gruen is chair and associate professor of philosophy, associate professor of environmental studies, associate professor of feminist, gender and sexuality studies at Wesleyan, and author of Ethics and Animals: An Introduction (Cambridge, Feb. 2011). Weil is a visiting professor of letters at Wesleyan, and author of Thinking Animals: An Introduction (Columbia, 2011).
Laura Grabel, the Lauren B. Dachs Professor of Science in Society, was one of three guests featured on PBS’s “Where We Live” on March 23. Grabel joined scientists and ethicists from all over the country for StemCONN 2009—an international stem cell research symposium held in New Haven, Conn. The symposium organizers and experts spoke on what new federal policy means for a state like Connecticut, which has already heavily invested in stem cell research.
Connecticut is home to leading academic institutions for human stem cell research, including Wesleyan, Yale University, the University of Connecticut. It is a place where national and international stem cell research partnerships develop, thrive and grow.
During StemCONN, Grabel, chair of the StemCONN organizing committee, provided an up-to-the-minute report on the achievements of Connecticut’s research institutions and the State of Connecticut’s Stem Cell Research Fund. Her current research interests include a study of the ability if GABAergic neurons derived from embryonic stem cells to prevent chronic seizures when transplanted to the mouse hippocampus, and a study examining the molecular signals that direct production of neural stem cells from embryonic stem cells and the environmental conditions, following seizures, that promote integration of embryonic stem cell-derived neural stem cells.
Lori Gruen, associate professor of philosophy, associate professor feminist, gender and sexuality studies, and director of the Ethics in Society Project was also on the organizing committee for StemCONN. Gruen is chair of the Embryonic Stem Cell Research Oversight committee. Her work lies at the intersection of ethical theory and ethical practice and she has published on multiple topics in bioethics, environmental ethics, and other areas of practical ethical concern.
Recently, she co-edited Stem Cell Research: The Ethical Issues (Blackwell, 2007) with Grabel and Peter Singer.