School of History

HST5408 – Animal Madness in the Human Zoo: The History of Animal Experimentation and the Human Condition

Module code: HST5408

Credits: 15
Semester: SEM 2

Module Convenor: Dr Ed Ramsden

Throughout history our understanding of what it is to be human has depended upon our perceptions of, and relations with, non-human animals. In this module we will trace the emergence and development of animal experimentation from the mid-19th century through to the late 20th and examine how it has informed our understanding of human behaviours, emotions and their discontents.  Beginning with Charles Darwin's interactions with the orangutan Jenny in London Zoo through to the use, on an industrial scale, of laboratory animals to understand stress-related illnesses and devise drugs to relieve them, students will explore the profound effect various species, such as rats, mice, dogs and monkeys, have had on the human condition in the modern era.

Assessment: Source Analysis (1,000 words) [20%] and Essay (3,000 words) [80%]
Level: 5