Human Animal Studies


The registration takes place via RWTH Online and is possible until October 17th. Further information about the registration process can be found in our FAQ.

All students can register for one module. You can specify two preferences. Please use the numbers “1” and “2”. If you have not been assigned a place in the project after the end of the assignment and are still interested in participating, please contact sibel.yildirim[@] directly.

(If you have any problems with the registration or with RWTHonline, please contact Mrs. Sibel Yildirim (IPW), also stating your matriculation number:

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Academic Responsibility

Univ.-Prof. Dr. theol. Simone Paganini

Lehr- und Forschungsgebiet Biblische Theologie

Contact Person

Oliver Reisen, M.Sc.






Monday, 6:30-8:00 p.m.


Digital (Zoom)


Companions and Enemies –  Historical and Cultural Studies Perspectives on Animal-Human Constellations.

For centuries, the bond between humans and animals was also alive in our cultural area. Animals were ubiquitous as ‚companions and enemies‘ of humans. In this module, historical and cultural studies perspectives on the human-animal relationship will be explained and discussed. This will range from the world of the Ancient Near East, through the Middle Ages and modern times, to those speciesist approaches that can be readily identified during the Nazi era.

The lecture series will be accompanied by a voluntary tutorial.

Learning Outcomes

The aim is that at the end of the lecture students will have basic knowledge from several disciplines on the subject of animal-human relationships. In this semester, special attention will be paid to historical situations of human-animal encounters. In addition, students will be able to engage in an open and factual discourse on a topic that can often make a scientific approach difficult due to its emotionality. A voluntary tutorial is also offered for this purpose. The ability to think and argue independently, based on the current state of research, should help in the competent discussion of current research questions and supposed ethical implications.



Organizational introductory event

Prof. Dr. Simone Paganini
RWTH Aachen


Gender Relations, from Prehistoric to Modern Times

Prof. Dr. Carel van Schaik
University Zurich


Voluntary tutorial: How valuable is an animal life?


Animal Agency, or Animals as Active Substitutes for Humans in the Hebrew Bible

Prof. Dr. Simone Paganini
RWTH Aachen


Voluntary tutorial: Does an animal have a right to life or do I have a right to eat schnitzel?


Störenfriede der Schöpfungsordnung: Heilige und Ungeziefer

Dr. Gregor Taxacher
TU Dortmund


Voluntary tutorial: Does a person always have to be a human being?


Animal Trials in the Middle Ages

Sebastian Huncke
WWU Münster


Horses in the First World War

Prof. Dr. Thomas Ruster
TU  Dortmund


Animals and crime: dogs in police regulation

PD Dr. Aline Steinbrecher
University Zurich


Voluntary tutorial: How speciesist are you?


The Work of Dehumanization: The Ambivalent Role of Dogs in the Nazi Concentration Camp System

PD Dr. Mieke Roscher
University Kassel


Precious and Unprecious Life under National Socialism

Freelance journalist


Man without animals? On the history and present of solipsism

Prof. Dr. Andreas Krebs
University Bonn


Final discussion: Between animal ethics and zoopolis

Prof. Dr. Simone Paganini
RWTH Aachen

Procedure/Working method​

Depending on the course of studies, module and examination, credit points can be achieved through participation.


Certificate of Participation (0 CP, not graded)
Protocol with critical analysis  (2 CP, not graded)
Term Paper 10-15 pages (3 CP)
Term Paper 15-20 pages (4 CP)

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