Saturday, January 19, 2013

Welcome to HAS Cinema!

Welcome to the newest project of the Animals and Society Institute, HASCinema!

HASCinema is inspired by a blog I visit frequently for my sociological teaching called The Sociological Cinema, created by sociologists Valerie Chepp, Paul Dean and Lester Andrist. The Sociological Cinema hosts Youtube videos, and shorts from other videos, which can be used to teach sociological concepts in the classroom. The videos are tagged by theme, making it easy for instructors to pick videos that are appropriate for lectures on subjects like race, gender, or class, for example.

I love using videos in my sociology and anthropology classes as well, but there's nothing I love more than using videos in my animals and society courses. The Internet is simply brimming with videos of animals--animals doing funny things, animals doing amazing things, animals and humans interacting in moving and important ways, and of course animals being exploited in horrific and mind-numbing ways.

I wanted to create my own version of the Sociological Cinema to provide human-animal studies professors with one place to visit to find videos to use in their own courses, along with a little bit of information about the video, and about some of the ways in which you might use it.

Please contact me at if you find this site useful, if you have a video that you'd like to contribute or alert me to, or if you'd like to write for the site yourself. I'd love to have your help!

What better way to introduce the new site than with Maru, one of the most popular cats on the internet. Maru's popularity stems from his love of, and skill with, jumping into boxes. Each of Maru's videos are watched by an average of a million people, and his Youtube channel is the eighth most popular channel in all of Japan. Maru's videos can be used in class as way to get students to discuss the differences between dogs and cats in terms of motivation. Some questions you might ask:

Why does Maru likes to jump in boxes so much? He hasn't been trained to do so, and gets no rewards for his behavior. Do animals derive pleasure from activities from which they don't derive any concrete benefit?

At the very least, I guarantee that YOU will derive some benefit by watching Maru jump into and out of a variety of boxes. I know I get happy when I watch him.

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