Animals, Humans, Writing - EN709

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
Canterbury Autumn
View Timetable
6 30 (15) DR K Nagai

Pre-requisites

None

Restrictions

Not available as wild

2019-20

Overview

What is the relationship between 'animal' and ‘human’, and how is this explored through writing? This module seeks to examine creaturely relations by focusing on literature from the eighteenth century up to the present, alongside key theoretical and contextual material that engages with questions concerning animality and humanity. We will focus on how writers imagine distinct animal worlds as well as how they understand the role of animals in human cultures. A range of novels, short stories and poems will raise questions about how we look at, think with, and try to give voice to animals, and topics covered will include ‘Becoming Animal’, ‘Animal Autobiography’, ‘Observing Animals’, ‘Colonial Creatures’, ‘Animal Experiments’, ‘Taming and Training’, and ‘Questions for Animals’. Students taking this module will gain a firm grounding in the diverse critical field known as ‘animal studies’, whilst also considering the broader cultural, philosophical and ethical implications of how we think about the relationship between humans and animals.

Details

This module appears in:


Contact hours

Total contact hours: 30
Private study hours: 270
Total study hours: 300

Method of assessment

100% Coursework:

Two essays of (3,000 words each) (45% each)
Seminar performance (10%)

Indicative reading

James Thomson, John Clare, William Cowper, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Anna Laetitia Barbauld, selected poems (1730-1815)
Anna Sewell, Black Beauty (1877)
Rudyard Kipling, The Jungle Books (1894-95)
H. G. Wells, The Island of Doctor Moreau (1896)
Louis MacNeice, Zoo (1938)
Octavia Butler, Wild Seed (1980)
J. M. Coetzee, The Lives of Animals (1999)
Paul Auster, Timbuktu (1999)
Jonathan Safran Foer, Eating Animals (2009)
Heken Macdonald, H is for Hawk (2014)

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Demonstrate nuanced knowledge of representations of animals in literature across different periods (from the early 19th century to the present).
2. Demonstrate an ability to compare representations of animals in different genres, including novels, short stories and poetry.
3. Demonstrate an ability to relate writing about animals to broader historical, cultural, philosophical, and political contexts.
4. Demonstrate sophisticated analytic skills, including close textual analysis;
5. Demonstrate a thorough understanding of critical approaches to animals in literature.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1. Apply sophisticated close reading techniques to a range of literary texts and genres and make productive and complex comparisons between them;
2. Display strong presentation skills and an ability to actively participate in group discussions;
3. Show an increased capacity for self-directed research and the ability to discuss, evaluate and creatively deploy secondary critical and theoretical perspectives making use of appropriate scholarly sources;
4. Frame and identify appropriate research questions and to construct original, clear and well-substantiated arguments.

University of Kent makes every effort to ensure that module information is accurate for the relevant academic session and to provide educational services as described. However, courses, services and other matters may be subject to change. Please read our full disclaimer.