AS306 The Literary Animal: Raising Consciousness Through Fiction

Course Description

Literature provides insight into human attitudes toward nonhuman animals. It also uses nonhumans as a means of examining and understanding what it means to be human. Literature also can provide a lens through which human animals may learn more about their nonhuman neighbors, offering insights into their biology, behavior, and culture, as well as the difficulties animals face in ever-changing habitats. Animal literature can raise consciousness about animals and encourage both empathy towards and activism for nonhumans. 3 credits

Course Learning Outcomes

At the conclusion of the course, students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate knowledge of the history of animal depiction in the arts, particularly literature
  • Identify and explain the variety of techniques used to depict The Literary Animal: Raising Consciousness Through Fiction and their effects on audience
  • Analyze the contribution of the arts to progress on animal welfare and rights

Course Topics

(Subject to Change)

  • Raising Consciousness
  • Boundaries Broken: Animism and Shapeshifting
  • Animal Biography and Auto-Biography
  • Allegory and Satire from Animism to Medvei: The Narrative Voice.
  • “Animal Fantasy.”Voices of the Least Loved
  • Biocommunities
  • Animal Fantasy: The Threatened Among Us.
  • Animal Detectives and Storytellers: Seeing with other Eyes, Living in Other Worlds

Course Materials

(Subject to Change)

  • Quinn, Daniel (1995). Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit. Bantam.
  • Gerstein, Mordicai. (2005). The Old Country Roaring. Brook Press.
  • Sewell, Anna. ( 2002). Black Beauty. Signet Classics.
  • Wolf, Virginia. (1976). Flush. Mariner Books.
  • Gonzales, Laurance. (2010). Lucy: A Novel. Vintage.
  • Harrington, Donald. (2004). The Cockroaches of Stay More. Toby Press.
  • Popham, Melinda Worth. (2001). Skywater. Universe.
  • Gowdy, Barbara. (2000). The White Bone. Picador.
  • Vaughan, Brian K. (2006). Pride of Baghdad. Art by Niko Henrichon. VERTIGO.