Animals in the Media

Course Details
& Course Number
JAMS 380, LEC 202
Class Number
Course Type
Undergraduate (Milwaukee Campus)
Meets Requirements
Humanities (HU)
Joette Rockow
Course Dates
June 13-July 23, 2022 (6 weeks)

This course will look at how media portrays, defines, and explains animals and how this affects our cultural view of animals. In modern society, our pets hold a place of importance and distinction. Cats, once mainly mousers on farms and in urban alleys, are now pampered members of the household. Dogs, once mainly used to hunt and protect property, now sleep inside on their owner’s beds. But other animals don’t live that life of luxury. Many animals are still raised only as commodities. Others are still seen as nuisances, vermin or valued only for sport or entertainment. News media covers stories about animals in a variety of ways and from a number of varying perspectives. Advertisers use animals to gain attention. Animal welfare organizations have web sites and utilize social media in order to gain support for their cause.  And there are TV programs and stations dedicated to the tales of animals, wild and domesticated. In this class, we will explore the space and place that animals hold for humans, how media shapes our perceptions, and why our voices for them are so important at this time, perhaps more than at any other time in history.

Course Syllabus (.pdf)