44 - Introductory Topics in Fiction
English 44: Introductory Topics in Fiction
Topic: Thinking With Animals
This course will cover a range of fictions, from the nineteenth and twentieth centuries for the most part, that represent animality and animal life. We will read literary texts that treat of animal and human incarnation (including what it might mean to have and to use eyes and noses, faces, hands, and tails); animal (auto)biography, speech, rights, and moral status; animal-human transformation and hybrid creatures (including wolf boys and beast-men); wildness, settlement, and domestication; and animal death and species extinction. Readings include the fables of Aesop and La Fontaine; Rudyard Kipling’s Jungle Books; H.G. Wells’s Island of Dr. Moreau; Franz Kafka’s “Metamorphosis” and “A Report to an Academy”; J.M. Coetzee’s Lives of Animals; and Mahasweta Devi’s Pterodactyl, Puran Sahay, and Pirtha.
GradingIn-class quizzes; class participation; contributions to an online forum; a midterm; a term paper; and a final exam.
TextsThe Jungle Books, Rudyard Kipling
The Island of Dr. Moreau, H.G. Wells
Metamorphosis; A Report to an Academy, Franz Kafka
The Lives of Animals, J.M. Coetzee
Imaginary Maps, Mahasweta Devi
Aesop's Fables; fables of La Fontaine