This course is on the representation of animal life and consciousness in works of literature and also an introduction to the emerging field of critical animal studies. We will pose such questions as: What have non-human animals meant for Western and non-Western cultures? How do poetry and fiction attempt to represent the experience of animals by asking us to inhabit their sensations or emotions or thoughts? How has philosophy understood our moral obligation to animals? In the broadest sense, what role do animals play in our aesthetic, ethical, political, and scientific worlds? We will read fiction, poetry, philosophy, and critical theory, and we will discuss animal sentience and experience, vegetarianism, animal fables, pet keeping, animals alongside disability, race, and gender, and the representation of animal life in the visual arts.
Also EVST 237