Reinstate Animals in American Culture Class

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Originally Posted: 23 December 2009

Reinstate Animals in American Culture Class

FROM Cease Animal Torture (CAT)

Tell California State University Long Beach (CSULB) to restore Animals in American Culture (AMST 421) for the coming Spring semester rather than pushing the class to the Fall 2010 semester.


President F. King Alexander
phone (562) 985-4121
fax (562) 985-5419

Andrea Taylor
Vice President
phone (562) 985-5197

Elena Macias
Community Relations
phone (562) 985-8816

Dr. Donald J. Para
Interim Provost & Senior Vice President
phone (562) 985-4129


For the Spring 2010 semester, California State University Long Beach had offered a class titled American Studies 421: Animals in American Culture. The class objective was the following:

Animals in American Culture ...examines the role of non-human animals in making cultural meaning, focusing on the many ways in which animals, not just humans, have shaped American history and culture...Course lectures, readings, discussions and student assignments are all designed to interrogate the many contradictions in Americans' relationships with animals while prompting us, hopefully, to think beyond ourselves to include other species in both our imaginations and material existences.

Due to recent budget cuts and the California education crisis, CSU Long Beach has decided to cut this unique class that incorporates non-human animals into Long Beach students' studies - a dynamic which is often ignored. In addition, many class cuts have not been equal across the board and have greatly affected the Humanities departments including Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, and Ethnic Studies.

"It is unfair and absolutely ridiculous to cut this class because, one, students who major in American Studies already have so little classes to choose from," stated Nicoal Sheen, a political science major and animal rights activist at CSU Long Beach, "Two, we need to maintain a diverse learning environment that allows students to expand their education and fields of study and not be limited to what the University thinks is best for us."

Similar to Sheen, other CSU Long Beach students who were enrolled for American Studies 421, outraged by the cut, are taking action to change the situation. "The students enrolled in the class was above the required number of enrollees to remain on the University class schedule, but was cut anyway," according to Allan Yaxon, a student who was enrolled and shocked by the cut, "I am sure that the many of the Business Administration classes have 15 students enrolled or less and still remain on the schedule due to their supposed 'higher importance'."

The animal rights collective on campus, Cease Animal Torture (CAT), is asking for people to contact the University in order to restore Animals in American Culture (AMST 421) for the coming Spring semester rather than pushing the class to the Fall 2010 semester. CAT is asking people to send emails and call the University asking to keep Animals in American Culture on the books for Spring 2010.

"This class provides a very important and different outlook towards non-human animals that most people are not accustomed to," Sheen concluded, "Cutting the class, in my opinion, proves the intolerance of the University to reach out and accept other academic studies."

Thank you for everything you do for animals!