New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Welcome to the New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies

Nau mai, haere mai ki te Puna Akorangi o Aotearoa mo te Tangata me te Kararehe
NZCHAS brings together scholars from the humanities and social sciences whose research is concerned with the conceptual and material treatment of nonhuman animals in culture, society and history.

'Sheep' on the Horizon

Armstrong Sheep

Associate Professor Philip Armstrong (of the Department of English and the New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies) has just published his latest book, a study of the natural and cultural history of sheep. The book is part of Reaktion Books' influential 'Animal' series.... [read more]

Listen to Philip's interview about the book with National Radio's Kim Hill here.

'A superb volume that more than meets the high bar set in the Reaktion Books Animal Series' -- Barbara J. King, TLS.

Download the full TLS review of Sheep here.


Featured Postgraduate Researcher

Raj Shekhar Aich

Raj Shekhar Aich is undertaking an especially exciting project in 'multi-species' ethnography under the supervision of NZCHAS member Dr Piers Locke and Dr Barbara Garrie. Raj's project is entitled Encountering White Sharks: Photographic Practice and the Affective Impacts of Cage Diving. He writes: 'The southern most commercial White shark cage diving operations in the world takes place between Bluff and Stewart Island, New Zealand. My research explores the affective impact of these practices on the divers, and the significance of associated photographic practices.... [read more]



Conflict, Negotiation, and Coexistence: Rethinking Human-Elephant Relations in South Asia

Edited by Dr Piers Locke (Department of Sociology and Anthropology) and Associate Professor Jane Buckingham (Department of History), this new book arises from an international symposium that took place at the University of Canterbury in 2013. It brings together anthropologists, biologists, ecologists, geographers, historians, political scientists, and Sanskrit literature specialists in order to explore humans, elephants, and environments in South Asia from the multispecies, interdisciplinary perspective of ethnoelephantology.... [read more]

Read Piers Locke's short article accompanying the book on the OUP blog here.








Mondry - Political AnimalsPolitical Animals: Dogs in Modern Russian Culture

Political Animals: Representing Dogs in Russian Culture (Brill 2015), the latest book by Professor Henrietta Mondry (of the Departments of English and Russian, and the New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies), has been reviewed at length and very positively in Slavic Review (75.1, Spring 2016, pp. 218-19), the foremost international journal in its field. The reviewer describes Political Animals as a “significant contribution to the growing field of animal studies”, and singles out for special praise the book’s “impressive range of scholarship”, its virtuoso investigation of a “diverse set of texts and contexts”, and its “particularly productive” exploration of Russian folk beliefs.

Read more

NZCHAS Research Students Graduate with Distinction

NZCHAS research students graduate

The New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies congratulates Master of Arts candidates Kirsty Dunn and Donelle Gadenne who graduated with Distinction in December 2015. Kirsty’s thesis is entitled Inherit the World, Devour the Earth: Representations of Western Meat Production and Consumption in Contemporary Fiction and can be accessed here: Donelle’s thesis is called A Canine-centric Critique of Selected Dog Narratives and can be accessed here:

Aotearoa New Zealand Human-Animal Studies Conference: November 5th and 6th, 2015

Over forty members, associates, students and friends of the New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies attended our conference in November 2015.

See the conference programme here.

See pictures from the conference here.

Animals in EmergenciesAnimals in Emergencies: Learning from the Christchurch Earthquakes

This richly-illustrated book by NZCHAS members Annie Potts and Donelle Gadenne vividly recounts the experiences of many Christchurch residents, human and animal alike, during the 2010 and 2011 earthquakes and their aftermath. The authors analyse these accounts to offer practical lessons in emergency animal management.

Read more.

Read the review by internationally-renowned expert in animal behaviour, Professor Marc Bekoff.

Buy the book.

Product DetailsMendel's Ark: Biotechnology and the Future of Extinction

NZCHAS member Dr Amy Fletcher has just published a ground-breaking study of the ethical, cultural and social implications of using biotechnological tools to reverse the extinction of species.

Read more



A New Zealand Book of BeastsA New Zealand Book of Beasts: Animals in our History, Culture and Everyday Life

Three NZCHAS members, Associate Professors Annie Potts, Philip Armstrong and Deidre Brown, have just published the first comprehensive human-animal studies analysis of New Zealand's history, literature, visual arts, popular culture and everday life.

Read more




News Archive >>