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current students > seminars > spring 2012 schedule > seminar: Representing Animals


Honors Seminars Spring 2012

Representing Animals

HON 293 Sec:001  
3 hours  
GER Cat:
13:30 - 14:45  
T G117  
Dr. John D. Morillo
Associate Professor

How and why have people represented animals in words and images? How has it changed from the classical period to the present? What do different fields suggest can be known about animals, why does that knowledge matter, and to whom? Are they granted consciousness, ethical importance, spirit, or independent agency? Are they seen as more suitable a subject of knowledge for children or for adults? Do they have a place and stake in human politics, and if so, why? Readings will necessarily be selective rather than exhaustive, and will include examples from fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, and from English, American, and some other literatures in translation. As a course grounded in literature and taught by an English professor, the importance of how these fields write about their animal subjects and construct them rhetorically as objects of knowledge and interest will be central, but visual representations (film, video, TV, advertising) will complement the readings.

Authors and texts: Genesis I, Lucretius Nature of Things, Pliny Natural History, Aesop Fables, Medieval Bestiaries, Reynard the Fox, Elements of Zoography, Cowper poems, Taylor A Vindication of the Rights of Brutes, Kipling Jungle Book, North Rascal, Dick Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?, Bennett Soul of a Lion