Episode 44 - Barbara J. King

Barbara J. King is Chancellor Professor of Anthropology at the College of William & Mary. In addition to her new book on animal grief, she has authored Being With Animals (Doubleday 2010), Evolving God (Doubleday 2007), The Dynamic Dance (Harvard University Press 2004), and a number of other books. A reissue of Evolving God is due out in 2017. 

Dr. King has studied monkeys in Kenya and great apes in various captive settings in Africa and the US. Her research has advanced the thesis that humans and animals have deeper emotional relationships than previously thought. She takes the work of our friend and colleague Dr. Chris Ryan in the other direction, examining the ways our anthropomorphic tendencies have robbed our non-human relatives of their dignity, emotional complexity and moral agency. 

Barbara is a popular guest on interview programs and recently appeared on the Diane Rehm Show and National Geographic Radio. Previously, she has been interviewed on radio programs in Canada, Austria, Germany, and Australia.

She is the recipient of numerous teaching awards from William & Mary and the state of Virginia. She is also associated with the Teaching Company which produces course material taught by America’s leading professors.

Together with her husband, she cares for and arranges to spay and neuter homeless cats in Virginia. 

In this episode, we discuss the danger of films like Finding Dory, the notion that the human religious experience is rooted in a primate sense of belonging, and how there are no Bonobo women.