Janet M Davis is a Distinguished Teaching Professor of American Studies and History at the University of Texas at Austin and is the 2019 Hood Fellow at the University of Auckland. She has written extensively in the areas of United States cultural, social, and environmental history, popular culture, and animal studies.

Her public lecture is drawn from her most recent book, The Gospel of Kindness: Animal Welfare and the Making of Modern America (2016). Published on the 150th anniversary of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), this prizewinning book is the first transnational history of animal protection in the United States and internationally. This “original and thought-provoking work” examines the interconnections among humanitarianism, moral reform, and empire. Professor Davis reveals the historical and political significance of animal welfare advocacy and the profound challenges of global animal protection.

For more of our audio and visual content, check out our YouTube channel, or head to the University of Auckland’s manuscripts and archives collection.

Disclaimer: The ideas expressed in this lecture reflect the views of the lecturer and not necessarily the views of The Big Q. 

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