English 44 - Winter, 2015

Introductory Topics in Fiction

    Topic: Almost Human: Animals, Cyborgs, Slaves, & Zombies

Class Information

Instructor: Hsu, Hsuan
CRN: 72513
Time: TR 10:30-11:50
Location: 26 Wellman


    In this course, we will read influential works that feature characters who are defined or perceived as almost human. By examining stories about monsters, aliens, animals, slaves, zombies, mice, and androids, we will consider different ways in which the human is defined in relation to different kinds of nonhumans across two centuries. Reading these texts will also provide an overview of important forms of fiction—short stories, novels, films, and a graphic narrative—as well as strategies for posing questions, analyzing, and making arguments about literary fiction.


    2 short essays=20%
    longer essay=25%
    online and in-class writing assignments=15%
    attendance and participation=20%
    final exam=20%


    Frankenstein, Shelley
    "Murders in the Rue Morgue", Poe
    "Heroic Slave" and Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, Douglass
    "Bartleby, the Scrivener", Melville
    Call of the Wild, London
    Maus, Spiegelman
    Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, Dick
    Bloodchild, Butler