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Professor Gary Francione Named Boswell Distinguished Lecturer in Philosophy at Hobart and William Smith Colleges

March 21, 2011 – 
Gary L. Francione, Distinguished Professor of Law and Nicholas deB. Katzenbach Scholar of Law & Philosophy at Rutgers School of Law–Newark, has been selected as the 2011 Foster P. Boswell Distinguished Lecturer in Philosophy at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. As Boswell Distinguished Lecturer, he will present, “Animals: Our Moral Schizophrenia,” on Thursday, March 31, 2011 at 4:30 pm. 

In announcing the lecture, Hobart and William Smith Professor Scott Brophy, chair of the philosophy department, said: “Gary Francione’s work in law and philosophy is provocative, and in the spirit of our conception of philosophy, it challenges us all to rethink beliefs and assumptions that we take for granted, such as the meaning of ‘personhood’ and our moral obligations involving other species.” The Boswell Distinguished Lecturer in Philosophy is a series that brings important philosophers and public intellectuals to Hobart and William Smith to share their ideas with a general audience and meet informally with students and faculty.

Professor Francione has been teaching animal rights and the law for 25 years and is well known throughout the animal protection movement for his criticism of animal welfare law and the property status of nonhuman animals, and for his abolitionist theory of animal rights. He is the author of numerous books and articles on animal rights theory and animals and the law, most recently The Animal Rights Debate: Abolition or Regulation? (Columbia University Press, 2010) in which he debates the abolitionist approach with Professor Robert Garner, a leading defender of animal welfare reform.

Professor Francione received his B.A. in philosophy from the University of Rochester, where he was awarded the Phi Beta Kappa O’Hearn Scholarship that allowed him to pursue graduate study in philosophy in Great Britain. He received his M.A. in philosophy and his J.D. from the University of Virginia where he was articles editor of the Virginia Law Review. After graduation, Professor Francione clerked for Judge Albert Tate, Jr., U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and for Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the U.S. Supreme Court. He practiced law in New York City before joining the faculty at the University of Pennsylvania Law School in 1984, where he was tenured in 1987. He joined the Rutgers faculty in 1989.