ENGL 359
Writing Animals Spring 2022
Division I
Cross-listed ENGL 359 / ENVI 359

Class Details

Animals surround us, inhabit us. We rely on them for food, for clothing, for friendship, and for ideas. We could say that the whole human enterprise rests on the shoulders of animals, except that we ourselves are, of course, animals, too. In this course, we will explore the rich and rapidly growing body of work that centers on the creatures we live among. Among the questions we will consider are: How do we imagine minds unlike our own? Can we speak for creatures that lack language (or at least our form of it)? How do we explain our love of animals — and our crimes against them? Readings will include fiction (Kafka’s “A Report to an Academy”), non-fiction (Sy Montgomery’s The Soul of an Octopus), natural history (Helen Macdonald’s Vesper Flights) and philosophy (Peter Singer’s Animal Liberation). This course will emphasize student writing, and participants will be invited to experiment with different genres.
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 16
Expected: 16
Class#: 3866
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: Students will produce roughly twenty pages of writing in a variety of modes
Prerequisites: none
Enrollment Preferences: English majors
Distributions: Division I
Notes: This course is cross-listed and the prefixes carry the following divisional credit:
ENGL 359 Division I ENVI 359 Division I

Class Grid

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