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Course Details

Fall 2018-2019
* ENV 357 / AMS 457 / GSS 357 / ENG 315 (EC)   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit

Empire of the Ark: The Animal Question in Film, Photography and Popular Culture

Anne McClintock

This course explores the fascination with animals in film, photography and popular culture, engaging critical issues in animal and environmental studies. In the context of global crises of climate change and mass displacement, course themes include the invention of wilderness, national parks, zoos and the prison system; the cult of the pet; vampires, werewolves and liminal creatures; animal communication, emotions and rights; queering nature; race and strategies for environmental justice. How can rethinking animals help us rethink what it means to be human? How can we transform our relations with other species and the planet itself?

Sample reading list:
Linda Kalof and Amy Fitzgerald, eds., The Animals Reader
William Faulkner, The Bear
Rob Nixon, Slow Violence and the Environmentalism of the Poor
Harriet Ritvo, The Animal Estate
Indra Sinha, Animal's People
Esther Woolfson, Corvus. My Life with Birds

Reading/Writing assignments:
Approximately 100-200 pages of reading a week, depending on whether we are reading a book, or articles. Students will submit two papers (one of which can be creative): one mid-term (about 8 pages), one final (about 15 pages). Everyone will submit a journal entry every week for the whole class to read. The class will also present collaborative group projects shaped around themes from the course. No prior knowledge of theory is required.

Requirements/Grading:
Paper in Lieu of Mid Term - 25%
Paper in lieu of Final - 25%
Oral Presentation(s) - 25%
Class/Precept Participation - 10%
Other (See Instructor) - 15%

Other information:
Group Projects: The class will be divided into small groups. Each group will choose a theme for a collaborative project. Project themes can be wide-ranging, creative and inventive, but should relate to the themes of the course. Each group will give a class presentation on their project, using the resources of the new media: films, photographs, images, music, regular research. Group presentations should be as creative, inventive, compelling, original and informative as possible.

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
23191 S01 01:30:00 pm - 04:20:00 pm W   Corwin Hall   130   Enrolled:12 Limit:13