Critical Animal Studies

Department of Sociology



Critical Animal Studies

New Perspectives


The Department of Sociology at Brock University is a leader in the new, rapidly-growing field of Critical Animal Studies (CAS). Brock was one of the first Universities in Canada to offer courses on animals and society. Our range of courses is comprehensive and challenging. The Department of Sociology's Concentration and Minor in Critical Animal Studies offers students a new perspective on our relations with the world around us. Students can also study CAS at the graduate level in both the MA in Critical Sociology and MA in Social Justice and Equity Studies. 

For more information about the CAS Minor and Concentration, or to declare a Minor or Concentration, please write to Academic Advisor Viola Bartel (vbartel@brocku.ca). Students who are not declared in either the Minor or Concentration are still very welcome to take CAS courses in Sociology. 

What is Critical Animal Studies?

In recent decades a new field has developed to study the role of animals in human societies. Known variously as Anthrozoology, Human-Animal Studies, or Critical Animal Studies, this research draws on multidisciplinary research to develop new ways of thinking about animals and animal-human relationships.

Questioning these attitudes, CAS examines animal-human relationships, the role of animals in human societies, the boundary between humans and animals, representations and images of animals and our ethical duty toward animals.

Brock's Department of Sociology adopts theoretical perspectives that focus on the emancipation of those who have been historically marginalized and offer possibilities for progressive social change. We look at issues of speciesism and animal exploitation as patterns of inequality comparable to those related with age, ability, gender, sexuality, race, environment and social class.