COMP 118
Animal Subjects Fall 2018
Division I Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
Cross-listed COMP 118 / GERM 118
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

Nonhuman animals constitute the limit against which humans define themselves; at the same time, they challenge such boundaries. Thinking about animals, then, always also means exploring our own humanity. In this tutorial, we will draw on the vast archive of literature, philosophy, and art that engages animals in order to reconsider what and how these representations mean. Bringing philosophers and poets into conversation with one another, we will critically examine common assumptions about other beings as we probe the categories that structure our perceptions. Considering our complex relationships with other animals, we will address questions of ontology, aesthetics, and ethics: What makes an animal? Can animals be represented? How should animal suffering affect us? In order to approach such questions, we will focus on the intricate entanglements that constitute human and nonhuman lives, emphasizing moments of contact and conflict.
The Class: Format: tutorial
Limit: 10
Expected: 8
Class#: 1529
Grading: yes pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: regular attendance and participation, alternating 4- to 6-page tutorial papers, and 2-page critiques
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: first-year students
Distributions: Division I Writing Skills Difference, Power, and Equity
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
COMP 118 Division I GERM 118 Division I
DPE Notes: The course considers the connections between different systems of oppression by examining the ways in which tropes of animality are transferred onto marginalized human groups, including, but not limited to, women and people of color. Students will also acquire the critical tools to recognize and investigate instances of interlocking violence that frequently hide in plain sight.

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