Animals in Anglophone Literature and Culture
- Mo 14:15-15:45, Raum KH 0.023
The relationship between humans and animals is schizophrenic: we adore them as pets, in zoos and in Youtube videos, yet our society also hunts, kills and eats millions of animals every year. In the light of factory farming and species extinction, veganism and animal rights have become popular buzzwords. In this seminar, we will interrogate from a historically and theoretically informed perspective how and with which consequences human civilisation legitimises its distinction from and treatment of animals. Our aim is to explore how literature and culture have responded to these issues and have they have constructed the animal and its subjectivity. After an introduction to central concepts from the fields of ecocriticism, posthumanism and animal studies, we will discuss how animals have been represented in Anglophone poetry, narrative fiction and popular culture since the late nineteenth century.
Among the works we will read in class are Virginia Woolfs Flush (1933) and J.M. Coetzees Living with Animals (1999).