Animal Studies

The Animals and Society Institute and Wesleyan Animal Studies are proud to announce the 2013 ASI-WAS Human-Animal Studies Fellows pursuing research in Human-Animal Studies.

The fellowship is hosted by Wesleyan faculty Lori Gruen and Kari Weil. Gruen is a Professor of Philosophy, Environmental Studies, and Feminist, Gender and Sexuality Studies at Wesleyan, and author of Ethics and Animals: An Introduction (Cambridge, 2011). Weil is Chair and University Professor of Letters at Wesleyan, and author of Thinking Animals (Columbia, 2012).

The fellowship program is directed by Ken Shapiro, Executive Director of Animals and Society Institute, Margo DeMello, Program Director, Human Animal Studies Program, and Wesleyan professors Lori Gruen, and Kari Weil.


Kara Kendall-Morwick, PhD

Visiting Lecturer, Department of English, Indiana University Bloomington.

"Mongrelized Subjects: Modernism and Human/Dog Coevolution."

Kara Kendall-Morwick received a Ph.D. in English in 2012 from Indiana University Bloomington, where she works as a Visiting Lecturer. She is currently revising for book publication her dissertation, "Mongrelized Subjects: Modernism and Human/Dog Coevolution," which examines dogs' privileged role in modernist reconfigurations of the human and its relationship to animality. Her published work includes articles in the Journal of Modern Literature and The Evolutionary Review (both forthcoming in Spring 2013) and a chapter in the edited collection Queering the Non/Human (Ashgate, 2008). A longtime animal advocate, she has volunteered at several animal shelters, helped found a student animal-advocacy group at IU, and shares her home with a dog and three cats.

Kara Kendall-Morwick


Joel MacClellan, PhD

Clinical Assistant Professor of Philosophy, Washington State University.

"Minding Nature: A Defense of a Sentiocentric Approach to Environmental Ethics."

Sponsor: NYU Animal Studies

Joel MacClellan is Visiting Clinical Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Washington State University.  He completed his Ph.D. in philosophy as a Yates Dissertation Fellow at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville in August 2012.  Joel's publications include articles in Between the Species, Ethics & the Environment, and the Journal of Animal Ethics.  He received his BA in philosophy, with minors in bioethics and environmental studies, from the University of Akron in 2002.  Joel was in the United States Peace Corps, working in environmental conservation and sustainable development in Panama, from 2003-2005.

Joel MacClellan


Beatrice Marovich, ABD

Graduate Division of Religion, Drew University. 

"Dream of the Creature: Religion, Ethics & Interspecies Kinship."

Sponsor: Feminist Animal Studies fellowship in honor of Marti Kheel

Beatrice Marovich is a PhD candidate in Drew University's Graduate Division of Religion. Her dissertation, "Dream of the Creature: Religion, Ethics & Interspecies Kinship" explores the "theological relic" of the creature as a subjective figure that marks a form of kinship between the human and the non-human. Taking into account the power dynamics that haunt any political theology of the creaturely, as well as the ambivalent role that non-human animals have played in the intellectual and material history of monotheism, Beatrice asks whether there might still be a creaturely ethic embedded in this relic.

Beatrice Marovich


David Redmalm, ABD

Department of Sociology, Orebro University, Sweden.

"Discipline and Puppies: The Powers of Pet Keeping."

Sponsor: National Canine Research Council

David Redmalm is a PhD Student in Sociology at Orebro University, Sweden, where he also teaches courses in sociology and social psychology. His dissertation "An Animal without an Animal within" challenges reductionist explanations for pet keeping and instead analyses different ways in which the relation between human and non-human animals becomes meaningful. The analysis especially focuses on power, loss, and representations in popular culture. Redmalm has published texts about Chihuahuas and modernity, Lévinasian ethics and the theory of social psychology. He is a member of the interdisciplinary HumAnimal Group based at the Centre for Gender Research at Uppsala University.

David Redmalm


Jeanette Samyn, ABD

Department of English at Indiana University. 

"Parasitic Mimesis: The Rise of the Biological Parasite in British Culture."

Jeanette Samyn is a doctoral candidate in the Department of English at Indiana University. Her dissertation, "Parasites and the Limits of Victorian Literature: Society and Biology in the Nineteenth Century," attempts to develop a theory and history of parasitism that takes into consideration the ongoing, mutually constitutive relationship between concepts of social (human) and biological (nonhuman) parasitism. Demonstrating through a study of nineteenth-century British literary and scientific texts that the idea of the biological parasite has been tied to social and literary meanings from the start, "Parasites and the Limits of Victorian Literature" also argues that the rise of the idea of biological parasitism affected understandings of social networks, environment, labor, value, and life.

Jeanette Samyn


Ann Marie Thornburg, MFA

Lecturer, English, Language & Literature, University of Michigan. 

"Writing with Animals: Poetic Practice and the Representation of Animal Lives."

Ann Marie Thornburg received an MFA in Poetry from the University of Michigan's Helen Zell Writers' Program in 2011, and was the recipient of a 2011-2012 Zell Postgraduate Fellowship in Poetry. Her work appears in Boston Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, MAKE Literary Magazine, and The Collagist. In addition, she studies canid social behavior and cognition. Ann Marie's poetry is informed by the study of animal behavior, and focuses on representations of animal individuals and human-animal relations. Her fellowship project combines her work as a poet writing about animal subjects with analysis of representations of animals--particularly canids--in contemporary poetry.

Ann Marie Thornburg


Zipporah Weisberg, ABD

Program in Social and Political Thought, York University, Canada.

"Biotechnology as End Game: Ontological and Ethical Collapse in the 'Biotech Century.'"

Zipporah Weisberg is a Ph.D. candidate in the Graduate Program in Social and Political Thought at York University in Toronto, Canada. Her areas of interest include critical animal studies, critical social theory, Continental philosophy, feminist philosophy, and environmental philosophy. She is currently completing her dissertation which examines the dialectical relationship between systemic violence against nonhuman animals and human alienation in late modernity. She is especially concerned with the devastating ethical and political implications of biotechnological practices involving animals. While at Wesleyan, she will develop a chapter in her dissertation which argues that biotechnology signals the final and most disastrous stage in the centuries-long campaign to seamlessly integrate nonhuman animals with the capitalist machinery of production.

Zopporah Weisberg