Barbara J. King

Barbara's Public Speaking And Book News

Barbara's new book, HOW ANIMALS GRIEVE, is now out! The book can now be ordered through Amazon, Barnes & Noble online, and The University of Chicago Press website. Barbara urges you to remember independent bookstores, also!

Watch Barbara's 4-minute book video:

For Dr. Marc Bekoff's thoughts on the book, please see here:

Psychology Today

If you're interested in inviting Barbara to give a public lecture, please send details to bjking09@​ Among her current topics for public speaking are:

*How Animals Grieve: The Science of Animal Emotion

*The Minds (and Hearts) of The Great Apes

*Animal Emotion: Science Catches Up With What Animal People Already Know

*Gorillas And God: The Evolution of Religion

*Which Paleo-Fads Are Legit? Diet, Exercise, And More: One Biological Anthropologist's View

Meanwhile, have a look at Barbara's weekly contribution, typically on Thursdays, to NPR's 13.7 science-and-culture blog. Scroll down as needed to find her posts, which cover a wide variety of topics in anthropology and animal behavior -- everything from why she's excited about fake meat to more sober treatments of peer-reviewed work in primatology and biological anthropology. And she interviewed Richard Dawkins, on tape, in a cool-headed discussion of reason, respect, and atheism.

13.7 science blog

(If you're looking for a particular topic, go to the search box on's home page, and type in Barbara King + relevant key words.)

TWITTER FANS - Barbara tweets (a lot!). Follow her: @​bjkingape


Barbara J. King is Chancellor Professor of Anthropology at the College of William & Mary.

In addition to her new book on animal grief, she has authored Being With Animals (Doubleday 2010), Evolving God (Doubleday 2007), The Dynamic Dance (Harvard University Press 2004), and a number of other books.

Dr. King has studied monkeys in Kenya and great apes in various captive settings in Africa and the US. Her research has advanced the thesis that humans and animals have deeper emotional relationships than previously thought.

Barbara is a popular guest on interview programs and recently appeared on the Diane Rehm Show and National Geographic Radio. Previously, she has been interviewed on radio programs in Canada, Austria, Germany, and Australia.

Dr. King is the recipient of numerous teaching awards from William & Mary and the state of Virginia. She is also associated with the Teaching Company which produces course material taught by America’s leading professors.

Barbara King graduated from Douglass College with a BA in Anthropology. She also received her MA and PhD in Anthropology from the University of Oklahoma.

Together with her husband, she cares for and arranges to spay and neuter homeless cats in Virginia.

Selected Works

Why are animals so irresistible to us? Why do we live with and care so deeply about them? From the famous "art caves" of ice-age Europe, to the ancient villages where animals were first domesticated, to stories of apes, whales, dogs, and cats doing fascinating things today, King weaves together a scenario about the animal-human bond that encompasses our past, present and future.
Can scientists discover a prehistory of religion just as they have traced the evolution of technology, language, and art? What does compassion in chimpanzees, or burial patterns in our human ancestors and Neanderthals, tell us about the origins of religion? In Evolving God, named a Top Ten Religion Book for 2007 by the American Library Association, Barbara King explores these questions.
How do chimpanzees, bonobos, and gorillas-- the African apes -- communicate using body postures and gestures? Using her many years of experience studying these apes, Barbara King answers this question in a book that offers a new perspective on the evolution of language.