English 190

Research Seminar: Animals in Literature and Theory


Section Semester Instructor Time Location Course Areas
15 Fall 2012 Eichenlaub, Justin
Eichenlaub, Justin
note new time: MW 4-5:30 note new location: 222 Wheeler

Other Readings and Media

The required texts include The Lives of Animals (J.M. Coetzee); The Question of the Animal from Heidegger to Derrida(Matthew Calarco); When the Killing’s Done (T.C. Boyle); The Island of Dr. Moreau (H.G. Wells); How the Dead Dream (Lydia Millet); The Companion Species Manifesto (Donna Harraway); Philosophy and Animal Life (Stanley Cavell, Cary Wolfe, et. al.);Eating Animals (Jonathan Safran Foer) and a reader / collection of online articles; the course will also require a $10 admission ticket to the Oakland Zoo.

Description

This course engages the question of the animal through novels, poetry, philosophy, theory, film, painting and photography, and popular culture.  Our approach will be to examine and track major trends in the burgeoning field of animal studies, allowing us to think about how animals are represented in cultural products and how contemporary philosophers and theorists are re-imagining human-animal relations.

To rethink the being and ‘meaning’ of animals also entails revisiting the idea of ‘the human.’  While this class engages with fictional and philosophical questions, we’re going to take the everyday, embodied repercussions of these ideas seriously.

Some of our particular topics will include the relationship of literary and artistic form to ethical arguments (particularly in Coetzee’s Lives of Animals and Safran Foer’s Eating Animals); questions of what role animals should play in our lives through Donna Harraway’s ideas of companion species; Franz Kafka’s short story “Report to an Academy,” about a humanistic ape; Lydia Millet’s powerful novel How the Dead Dream which links questions of species extinctions with human loss; and we’ll visit the Oakland Zoo to consider this eminently-Victorian and colonial means of ‘making the animal visible.’

Please read the paragraph on page 2 of the instructions area of this Announcement of Classes for more details about enrolling in or wait-listing for this course.

Please click here for more information about enrollment in English 190.

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