Over the years the journal has been fortunate to have in its pages prominent scholars like Peter Richerson (cultural evolution), Kathryn Coe (anthropology), Mark Turner (cognitive science), David Sloan Wilson (biology), and Ellen Dissanayake (evolutionary art history). As the official publication of the Moral Sense Colloquia, the journal included legendary people like Robert Trivers (biology) and Diana Reiss (psychology). ASEBL Journal has consistently blended interdisciplinary approaches in the following instances: competitive altruism in Beowulf (v. 9, January 2013), cultural traditions from an anthropological perspective in Romeo and Juliet (v. 11.1, January 2015), art and evolution (v. 11.2, April 2015), the cultural evolution of attitudes about homosexuality (v. 12, February 2016), traditional ethical codes as a puzzle to evolutionary theory (v. 12, February 2016), morality and biology (v. 13, January 2018), great ape personhood (v 14, January 2019), and in its sunset issue, consciousness (v. 15 January 2021).
As of January 2021 the journal ceased
regular publication, but we will continue to serve our community online at this
ASEBL Journal [pronounced, az-a-bell] stands for animal studies ethical behavior literacy. This is a somewhat new departure, but all prior material dealing with literary and cultural evolutionary studies will remain on this site. We hope to be an unpresumptuous and unapologetic voice advocating for animals.
If you are interested in submitting a short essay for the site, please review carefully the information below and contact the editor, Gregory F. Tague, Ph.D.: firstname.lastname@example.org with ASEBL in the subject line of the email.
The scope of the journal can be classified broadly as animal ethics. The journal seeks to answer a question like this: How do we educate people, especially younger generations, about the importance and value of nonhuman animal life? Humans do not stand alone or apart from other organisms; all forms of life are interdependent, as Darwin on the forefront observed and now accepted by scientists.
A closely related theoretical aspect of the journal deals with evolutionary cultural studies, where culture is understood (via Edward Tylor, 1871) as “that complex whole which includes knowledge, beliefs, art, law, morals, custom, and any other capabilities and habits acquired . . . as a member of society.” How does this basic definition of “culture” apply to human and animal relations and interactions?
So, ASEBL is primarily interested in:
1. How moral (social) behavior about animals is depicted in “texts,” whether literary or not, how “readers” might respond to such depictions, and whether or not there is an evolutionary or adaptive function to the production of such moral representations.
Nevertheless, ASEBL can include:
2. The other dimensions of culture Tylor notes. There is no reason one cannot cover personal responsibility, moral identity, social emotions, human nature, consciousness, and conscience from an evolutionary perspective in other cultural manifestations related to animals. The journal is, therefore, open to analyses (evolutionary, cognitive, ethical) of other cultural creations, such as visual arts, dance, music, film, or sculpture related to animals.
Here are some additional pointers for potential contributors.
First, we are looking for short (up to about 3,000 words) academic articles, essays, or opinions. By academic we mean something conversant with scholarship, accessible, and easy to read. An example might be our Open Letter to Peter Godfrey-Smith. Or, how about our editorial about animals as medical experiments. By essay, as another example, see the work of Sari Fitriani. As for an opinion piece, the writing should be informed by intelligent sources. An example of an opinion might be that of Bruce McLeod.
Second, you might want to consider some of these broad subject areas as appropriate to ASEBL: Depictions of animals or human-animal relations in literary texts, the arts, news or social media, entertainment, cultural contexts, etc. Other areas include but are not limited to: Animal agriculture; Hunting and fishing; Animals and climate change; Animals as environmental stewards; Interdependence of species; Human relations to animals; Zoos or sanctuaries; Medical facilities and university laboratories; Approaches that encompass the historical or philosophical or political; Views about specific species; Companion animals; Cruelty and law enforcement; Animal pain and suffering; Animals and evolution; Sustainability and animals; Dehumanization and animals; Animals in war; Domesticated animals; Wild animals; Animals on the borders with humans; Poaching and illegal trade; Vanishing species; Education as a tool for change.
Please query before submitting, and make sure that any correspondence includes ASEBL in the subject line. While submissions are to be in MLA or APA format with brief in-text citations and a bibliography, we discourage any endnotes (no footnotes). If you have a few endnotes, they need to be set up without using embedded noting programs. If you use some type of automatically-enumerating noting software (such as Endnote), all of the enumerations become askew. Simply type notes (if you have any), numbered consecutively, as text, after your paper just before the bibliography. Georgia should be your font at 12 pitch. Documents should not have any headers, footers, or pagination. Any special codes (such as automatic end-noting) get transferred to the site software and cause formatting problems. The editor has the right to reject any accepted manuscript that does not conform to the established guidelines.
The aim is to make online reading as easy as possible. We prefer papers that do not use extensive block quoting or any notes. In the case of lengthy quoting (discouraged, anyway), the author of any paper is responsible for obtaining written permission from the original writer or the writer’s estate. The site software does not permit the presentation of tables, graphs, or charts – text only.
While submissions need not be scholarly, there should be some commitment to academic discourse. Book reviews are welcome, although for these the preference would be for works only in the realm of animal studies or environmental ethics. Reminder: please query first about any submission or book review – do not send any unsolicited material. When querying, please include ASEBL in the subject line.
Cite as: ASEBL Journal
Although this is an open-access journal and site where papers and articles are freely disseminated across the internet for personal or academic use, the rights of individual authors as well as those of the journal and its editor are nonetheless asserted: no part of the journal/site can be used for commercial purposes whatsoever without the express written consent of the editor.
Until further notice, issues are housed on the St. Francis College (Brooklyn, NY) website. This was an online journal, so issues appeared as PDFs. The journal, peer-reviewed, was indexed in Humanities Source, a major database of EBSCO Host, and the MLA International Bibliography. That indexing might be the case with any future, special issue. ASEBL Journal is also a member of the Council of Editors of Learned Journals.
[November 2023 update]
We work on this venture purely as volunteers. Feeling generous? If you have a Paypal account and want to contribute to the cause, send some ₵$ to email@example.com