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New Undergraduate Course Supplement 2018


ENGL 54.05 Animal Studies: Theory, Literature, Politics

The emergent field of animal studies tackles pressing philosophical and ethical questions about who we are as a species. How are the distinctions between “animal” and “human” understood, destabilized, and/or deconstructed? What does it mean to recognize animals as sentient beings endowed with their own agencies rather than objects for use by humans? This course provides an introduction to animal studies, including such questions as inter-species communication, extinction, animal rights, ecologies, and species identities. Students will study texts across the interdisciplinary field by such authors as Lacan, Derrida, Deleuze, Haraway, Wolfe, Chen, and Moore, as well as foundational texts by Darwin, Montaigne, and Freud. As a class, we will discuss how theoretical perspectives on animals alter our readings of literary texts—including fiction by such authors as Rudyard Kipling, J. M. Coetzee, Karen Joy Fowler, Virginia Woolf, Yann Martel, and Franz Kafka—even as we raise contemporary concerns about climate change, extinction, and species justice.

Distributive and/or World Culture

Dist:LIT

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