This essay describes two experiments in integrating contemplative practices such as sitting meditation and lectio divina into an undergraduate seminar titled “Animals in America.” It begins by giving account of the first iteration of the class, then discussing student evaluations. It proceeds to explain how the author subsequently revised the course to deepen students' engagement with the subject matter, as well as to heighten their confrontation with the realities of animal suffering in the past and present. The essay concludes by weighing some of the benefits and disadvantages that contemplative practices pose in the history classroom.

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