21H.909J / 21H.969J / 21A.390J / 21A.835J People and Other Animals

As taught in: Fall 2010

A beaver in a pond, chewing on a submerged leaf.

A North American beaver in its native habitat. (Photo from the U.S. National Park Service.)


Undergraduate / Graduate


Prof. Harriet Ritvo

Course Highlights

Course Description

This class provides a historical survey of the ways that people have interacted with their closest animal relatives, for example: hunting, domestication of livestock, exploitation of animal labor, scientific study of animals, display of exotic and performing animals, and pet keeping. Themes include changing ideas about animal agency and intelligence, our moral obligations to animals, and the limits imposed on the use of animals.