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.

Aotearoa New Zealand Human-Animal Studies Conference
5 & 6 November 2015
Hosted by the New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies
Lotus reading


More than sixty academics, students and members of the public attended the conference held by the New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies on November 5th and 6th. The quality of papers was extremely high, and topics covered ranged widely across the field, from factory farming in America to dog training in the Soviet Union, from animals in earthquakes to elephant-handling in Nepal, from cannibalism to queer theory. To review the full programme click here.

The organisers wish to register their deepest thanks to all who participated and helped make this event such a marked success.

Download a collection of photos from the conference here.


Multispecies Perspectives on Elephants in Asia

NZCHAS member Dr Piers Locke will be convening a panel on humans and elephants at the forthcoming NZAsia conference at the University of Canterbury, November 29- December 1. The panel will feature the following presentations:

  • King, Elephant, Forest, Forest People: Environmental History of India in the Optic of China- Thomas Trautmann (University of Michigan)
  • Imagining The Inner Life of The Asian Elephant in India- Rachel Dwyer (SOAS)
  • Elephant Husbandry in Cambodia: A Focus on the Bunong of Mondul Kiri Province- Bion Griffin (University of Hawaii)
  • Feeding a Living God: Human-Elephant Entanglements in the Hindu lifeworld- Paul Kiel (Macquarie University)
  • Story-telling and Animal Biographies in Alternative Tourism: Creating engagement at an elephant sanctuary in Thailand- Samantha Eason (University of Canterbury)
  • Multispecies Perspectives on Human-Elephant Conflict and Coexistence in Sri Lanka- Piers Locke (University of Canterbury)\
  • Mughal Emperor Akbar and his relations with imperial elephants- Jane Buckingham (University of Canterbury)

Mondry - Political Animals

Political Animals: Dogs in Modern Russian Culture

NZCHAS member Professor Henrietta Mondry has just published magisterial study of the place of the dog and of human-canine relationships in Russian culture, life and politics.

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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.

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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.

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