Hungry, Thinking with Animals

Dana Simmons
UC Riverside

Food insecurity on U.S. college campuses is emerging as a visible matter of concern. Recent surveys show that over 40% of undergraduate students in the University of California are food insecure. “Hungry, Thinking with Animals” seeks to place their experiences in historical and scientific context, so that students may understand their individual stories as part of a broader narrative of American history. This is a history of how we came to experience hunger in the ways that we do today. It is a history of how hunger came to stand in for many basic human qualities and motivations. It is a history of how people with food insecurity or obesity today have come to see themselves as maladapted, as lacking in self-control self-discipline, or as destined to suffer because of an unfortunate genetic or economic heritage. “Hungry, Thinking with Animals” demonstrates how hunger, as a model system, helped to establish a field of behavioral-physiological-neuroscientific knowledge, as well as what the traces of these model systems, and the animals within them, can tell us about the history of hunger itself.