Research Projects

Cat and goldfishThese projects examine the history of a particular domesticated species and human society across the entire chronological expanse of their relationship.

Using interdisciplinary research, the projects provide a case study for thinking about the cultural interface between sociology and ethology and between history and natural history.  NezPerceHorseSmall They highlight how the behavior and qualities of particular animal species have shaped human endeavors, and how humans’ have influenced the lives of these creatures.

Each of the projects follows a common format, which includes a brief evolutionary history, a discussion of how domestication began, an overview of the animal species’ ethology, and an analysis of how the animal in question has influenced human affairs in different historical contexts.reindeer-TameSmall The animals chosen here represent the spectrum of domesticates, from the ungulates who have long served as transport, food, and sources symbolic power (donkey, horse, reindeer), to the most common domesticated birds (the chicken and the pigeon), to the predatory cat, and to the only domesticated insect (honeybee) and fish (goldfish).RocketCatPigeonSmallmedieval european bee keepingDonkey1900MiddleEastSmall


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