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Organization, Regulations, and Courses 2023-24

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.

Degree Requirement Attributes

Dist:LIT; WCult:W

The Timetable of Class Meetings contains the most up-to-date information about a course. It includes not only the meeting time and instructor, but also its official distributive and/or world culture designation. This information supersedes any information you may see elsewhere, to include what may appear in this ORC/Catalog or on a department/program website. Note that course attributes may change term to term therefore those in effect are those (only) during the term in which you enroll in the course.

Department-Specific Course Categories

Course Group IV