This is the third in a series of reports on the state of the field of Human-Animal Studies. In the introductory section, major terms in the prevailing definition of the field—Human-Animal Studies is the interdisciplinary study of human-animal relationships—are unpacked and critically analyzed. Subsequent sections deal with the field’s past, present, and possible futures. A schematic history of the field considers both scholarly contributions and programmatic inroads in the academy. The current state of the field section describes its breadth in terms of publication venues, disciplines that interface with it, and the variety of methods employed. It also offers a description of several common strategies that critique the received view of the categorical divide between human and other animal beings. The final section highlights both the potential of and anticipated roadblocks to each of several future trajectories.
The Covid-19 pandemic has further intensified a crisis in the functions and the perception of the state. It has also revealed underlying contradictions in both mainstream and radical ideologies of the state. A desire for the state as guarantor of public welfare vies with fear of the state’s hypertrophic capacities for surveillance and control. Following a brief exploration of the intimate modern connection between plagues and the state, the article tries to map some of the ways in which the state has been at stake in political and theoretical commentaries on the pandemic. Is an epidemiological politics from below, beyond the plague state, possible? Can recent emergency measures be seen as incomplete or inverted anticipations of a communist use of the state of exception? Or is the primacy of the political we are currently experiencing a mere fetish, indissociable from the rule of capital?
This paper outlines the experience of four universities that collaborated on a pre-arrival shared reading project, the Big Read, in 2018/2019. They did so primarily to promote student engagement and retention and also to ease the transition into higher education, particularly for first-generation students, to promote staff connectedness, and to provide a USP (unique selling point) for their institution. The paper covers all the associated processes, from isolating the respective aims of the collaborators to the choosing and sharing of a single agreed title. In analysing the outcomes, recommendations are made for future cross-institutional projects of this kind.
This paper discusses the contents and roles of the bulletin Giat (June 1953 to December 1957), a community-based periodical published in Jakarta by a Koto Gadang foundation to support development in Koto Gadang, West Sumatra. Giat played a role as a communication medium linking people from Koto Gadang who lived outside their home area (rantau) to their original villages. In describing and analysing the bulletin, I explore its content and focus on its collecting of funds for the clean water pipeline project in Koto Gadang and on its distribution of information, especially information about Minangkabau customary law, culture, literature, and the women’s movement. The bulletin also facilitated the sharing of family news among people from Koto Gadang in the village and the rantau. Giat became a medium for maintaining interpersonal connections and accommodated initiatives to develop the village. It is shown that, as a community-based publication, Giat played a role in developing village infrastructure as well as its social and cultural fields.
Academic publishing must change quickly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. In India, where publishing has a close and symbiotic relationship with the educational system, it has the means to do so. There is a young population, an aspirational nation, and a pandemic-induced opportunity to expand publishing’s digital footprint while rebuilding its traditional forms to provide blended learning and format-neutral options. There is no dearth of demand for academic content and expertise and the changing trajectories of learning and access provide opportunities for collaboration and partnerships both within Indian publishing and with the wider educational and technology ecosystem. The resilience of Indian publishing, which celebrates 75 years in 2022, lies in this collaborative spirit and responsive approach.
This article draws on the Old Testament book of Amos as a lens for thinking about the aid-giving behaviour of ‘traditional donor’ states at a time of international uncertainty. In the emerging ‘beyond aid’ environment, achieving international development outcomes will require much more than the provision of aid. States and individuals that are serious about contributing to international development will need to ‘go deeper’, actively assessing the development impacts that a wide array of their own behaviours may have on individuals beyond their borders. By bringing key themes from Amos into conversation with characteristics of the international development regime, this article demonstrates why moving away from an aid-centric approach to international development—symbolised by the 0.7% spending target—is proving difficult. At the same time, it reveals how the COVID-19 pandemic has the potential to function as a critical juncture for reimagining international development in line with the message of Amos.