University of Gothenburg
Photo: Illustration, Pia Olmås


GU-CAS – University of Gothenburg's Network for Critical Animal Studies in the Anthropocene - is a platform at the University of Gothenburg for addressing human-animal relations and their ethical, social, and environmental ramifications.

GU-CAS places human-animal relations at the center of the Anthropocene: the current geological epoch characterized by human domination over the planet.

Aim and activities

GU-CAS works across disciplinary borders to make visible how our use of animals affects the environment and climate change and contributes to social injustices. The network explores how we can bring about a shift to an ethically and environmentally sustainable society.

The ambition of GU-CAS is to link theory and practice-based knowledge of sustainability issues with the animals in focus. Through knowledge exchange, research collaboration, pedagogical development, campaigns and debates, we

  • explore novel approaches to environmental problems, social injustice and climate change that engage both theory and practice;
  • provide input to course development and research practices;
  • contribute to an ethically and environmentally sustainable campus free from animal use
  • work for a transition to plant-based food on campus.

Since 2018, GU-CAS organizes a popular seminar series with invited international guest lecturers.

New approaches

In the epoch of the Anthropocene, human domination over the planet is identified as the primary obstacle to a sustainable society, and according to FAO, the animal industry is one of the major contributors to the most serious environmental problems. The aim of GU-CAS is to make visible and challenge a system that tends to view nature and nonhuman animals as resources and products.

Through the network we seek to explore new approaches to environmental problems, climate change and social injustice; approaches that are cross-disciplinary, intersectional (analyze relations between different forms of oppression), post-anthropocentric (criticize the idea of the human as the most significant element of existence), and engage both theory and practice.

The network brings together students, teachers, researchers and administrators from all faculties, as well as participants outside academia. Through collaboration with social movements, GU-CAS works as a bridge between academia and civil society. GU-CAS also cooperates with international partners within and outside academia.

Critical Animal Studies is an academic field dedicated to the elimination of animal and ecological exploitation, oppression, and domination, and to the transformation of higher education into a more inclusive environment for considering all species.

About GU-CAS

The GU-CAS Network is supported by University of Gothenburg’s internal climate fund and the Gustaf Adolf Bratt Foundation. The network is developed through a cross-faculty collaboration between:

  • Department of Pedagogical, Curricular and Professional Studies (Associate Prof. Helena Pedersen and Ph.D. Candidate Jonna Håkansson)
  • Department of Cultural Sciences (Associate Prof. Juan Velasquez)
  • Department of Philosophy, Linguistics and Theory of Science (Ph.D. Candidate Dorna Behdadi); and
  • HDK-Valand (Senior Lecturer Thomas Laurien).