'The Animal Turn' in academia marks a shift in how animals are being thought about and researched. In the not to distant past animals were only viewed as objects that deserved no consideration, then attention turned to how they are used as metaphors and symbols within human societies and now, increasingly there is focused attention on animals as subjects. Who are animals and how can we know them? These are important questions.

Launched in February 2020, this podcast aims to contribute to this conversation about animals. While it is primarily targeted as folks with an interest in animal studies, the podcast makes for great listening for anyone who wants to learn more about animals and the ways we think about them. 

Each season is centered around a particular theme and has 10 episodes; 9 are focused on a specific concept related to the theme and the 10th is a grad review where a group pf graduate students try to pry apart and explore the overlapping themes and tensions. There are additional resources (such as reading lists and other podcasts) for folks who are interested in that theme and want to find out more. 

In each episode the host, Claudia Hirtenfelder, interviews guests about a concept, what it means and how it pertains to the overall season. Conversations are open-ended and often take interesting turns and divergences. Guests have included philosophers, sociologists, political scientists, geographers, lawyers, ethologists, activists which also allows for inter-disciplinary consideration of the theme. 

Because of its thematic structure the podcast makes for an excellent teaching tool. For people who are lecturing and teaching students about animals we hope you will find some valuable material here to help supplement your courses. 

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Giant Octopus

About the Podcast