SPRINGFIELD – Dr. Boria Sax, an adjunct faculty member in the Philosophy department at the University of Illinois at Springfield, has won a Distinguished New Course Award in the national Animals and Society awards program of the Humane Society of the United States. The award recognizes the course Animals and Human Civilization, which Sax developed and teaches online as a Liberal Studies Colloquium at UIS.
Dr. Boria Sax
Animals and Society awards recognize academic excellence in courses focusing on the relationship between people and animals. Selections are made based on depth and rigor within the topic, impact on the study of animals and society, and originality of approach. The academic departments of the winning faculty also receive monetary awards to be used in ways related to the subject matter of the course.
Liberal Studies Colloquia at UIS are multidisciplinary courses that engage important issues using points of view and value systems that extend beyond the usual cultural and disciplinary boundaries and contents. In Animals and Human Civilization, Sax includes folklore, literature, religion, history, artificial intelligence, and other fields to consider social, religious, and philosophical perspectives on animals throughout history. Students also explore the ways in which animals have served as metaphors for social divisions such as tribe, gender, class, and race.
Sax is a critically acclaimed author and scholar, as well as an authority on online learning. His more than a dozen books include The Frog King (1990), The Parliament of Animals (1992), The Serpent and the Swan (1998), and The Mythical Zoo (2001). He previously taught at Mercy College, Dobbs Ferry, New York, and has been an invited speaker at such places as the National Zoo, New York Botanical Garden, Staten Island Zoo, and the Rockwell Museum. He has served as a consultant to a number of human rights organizations, including Amnesty International and Helsinki Watch, and he is the founder and first president of Nature in Legend and Story, a nonprofit organization dedicated to "promoting an understanding of traditional bonds between human beings and the natural world."
The Humane Society of the United States is the nation's largest animal protection organization and works on behalf ofall animals through advocacy, education, and hands-on programs.
More information about Dr. Sax, including an introduction to the course Animals and Human Civilization, is available at www/boriasax.com. Additional information about the Humane Society is available at humanesociety.org.