CAF and the NCSU Libraries Announce the 2022 Tom Regan Research Fellows

Kat Poje and Joshua Russell

The NC State University Libraries, in collaboration with the Culture & Animals Foundation (CAF), have awarded 2022 Tom Regan Visiting Research Fellowships to Kat Poje, a Ph.D. candidate in the history of science at Harvard University, and Joshua Russell, an associate professor of animal behavior, ecology, and conservation at Canisius College in Buffalo, New York.

Intended to promote scholarly research in animal rights, the fellowship has been established through the generosity of the Culture & Animals Foundation (CAF) in memory of scholar, author, and former NC State philosophy faculty member Tom Regan. The fellowship specifically supports the use of the Libraries’ Special Collections Research Center (SCRC) Animal Rights Archive—the largest scholarly archive of animal rights collections in the country.

“We are tremendously excited to be hosting Kate Poje and Joshua Russell as the 2022 Tom Regan Fellows,” says Gwynn Thayer, SCRC Interim Department Head. “In researching animals and death, their unique proposals intersect in exciting ways, and we feel that the animal studies and animal protection related archival materials here at the SCRC will be enormously useful to them both in their work.”

Poje’s scholarly work focuses on how the practice and concept of animal euthanasia, or “good death,” emerged in the United States and became codified as a set of ethical norms, legal regulations, and scientific standards between the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. She also examines how euthanasia became a normative feature of the humane movement and how resistance to systematic shelter- and pound-killing emerged, especially through the formation of animal sanctuaries.

“The Libraries’ archive is an unparalleled resource for animal studies scholars working in and on the United States,” Poje writes. “The support of the Tom Regan Visiting Research fellowship enables me to spend significant time with this incredible collection, pursuing not only the materials I already know will be crucial for my doctoral research, but also encountering new sources and stories that will inspire future projects.”

Russell plans to search archival materials that address and explain perspectives on animal ethics and moral responsibility to children as well as those aimed at parents and educators.

“I am looking forward to spending time in the Tom Regan archives, as his work first introduced me to the idea of animal rights and animal ethics,” Russell writes. “I am also very glad to be having this opportunity with another scholar, hopefully in a way that allows us to share ideas and collaborate this summer.”

This year, the Libraries and the CAF have awarded two fellowships to encourage collaboration between the Fellows, whether in person or remotely, via a final joint presentation. Each fellowship provides a $4,000 stipend awarded to a qualified applicant for research completed in residence at the SCRC for a term of no less than four weeks to begin on or after July 1, 2022.

The Regan Fellowship debuted in 2019, when inaugural fellow Utah State professor Rachel Robison-Greene visited the SCRC to work on a critical analysis of in vitro, or “cultured,” meat. Of her experience in the archives, Rachel reflected: “My time in the archive was one of the most enriching in my professional life. I’m thrilled that two impressive scholars will have the opportunity to spend the summer there. They are both working on important projects and I’m very much looking forward to engaging with the products of their hard work.”