Bhagwaan Mahavir/Chao Family Foundation Postdoctoral Fellow in Jain Studies
Office: Mechanical Lab, 206
Brianne Donaldson works in religious studies with an emphasis on interdisciplinary and multicultural ethics. Her research frequently involves comparative Indian and western metaphysics, bioethics, critical animal studies, and religion and science. The goal of this work is to (1) identify implicit assumptions that justify systematic violence against marginalized communities of plants, animals, and people, and (2) to develop habits of awareness, intellectual engagement, and action that widen the boundaries of who is considered part of our moral communities.
While at Rice, Brianne is expanding her research into the anthropology of religion through two major Jain studies projects. The first explores the transmission of Jain identity and values among diaspora Jains through U.S. temple education, including a national survey of Jain teachers and students. The second is a first-of-its kind book examining bioethical foundations in the Jain tradition, including the views of Jain medical professionals in the U.S., U.K., and India. The large and active community of Jains in Houston are instrumental in this work.
She has a special interest in industrial animal agriculture and is currently completing a book on the globalization of meat, based on field research of midwest pork production, for the Resources Series of Polity press.
Brianne offers one class per semester, such as Bioethics and Indian Traditions or India, Consciousness, and Science. Outside the classroom, she is a small group facilitator for the first year ethics seminar at Baylor College of Medicine.
Brianne is the author of Creaturely Cosmologies: Why Metaphysics Matters for Animal and Planetary Liberation (Lexington Books 2015)—examining the world visions of Jainism and Alfred North Whitehead's process-relational philosophy, and the edited collections The Future of Meat Without Animals (Rowman and Littlefield International, 2016) and Beyond the Bifurcation of Nature: A Common World for Animals and the Environment (Cambridge Scholars Publishing 2014), as well as several chapters, articles, and op-eds on various topics which can be found on her website: www.briannedonaldson.com. She has served as assistant professor of philosophy and religious studies at Monmouth College (IL), lecturer at Claremont School of Theology (CA), and coordinator for Vegan Outreach.
The Future of Meat Without Animals
Brianne Donaldson and Christopher Carter (editors)
Beyond the Bifurcation of Nature: A Common World for Animals and the Environment
Brianne Donaldson (editor)