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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Spring 2010

E 379N • Animal Humanities-W

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
35080 TTh
2:00 PM-3:30 PM
PAR 104

Course Description

We will explore the representation of animals in literature, focusing especially on the analogies between racism and cruelty to animals and between the Holocaust and commercial animal slaughter. The Holocaust argument is made by Coetzee, Derrida, I. B. Singer, and by the documentary Earthlings, which will be the centerpiece of the course (screenplay + movie). While most of our texts will be British or American, we will include the Jain, Hindu, and Buddhist attitudes toward animals. In addition to the books listed below, our course anthology will include selections from authors such as Bentham, Blake, Wordsworth, Hopkins, Orwell, Kafka, Edwin Arnold, Lockwood Kipling, Alice Walker, Ted Hughes, Robinson Jeffers, Gary Snyder, Barry Lopez, Peter Singer, and the Texas writers, J. Frank Dobie, John Graves, Stephen Harrigan, and William Barney.

Grading Policy

About 50% of the final grade will be determined by multimedia web projects (15% for each first draft—150 points each, 10% for each revision—100 points each), 14% by the portfolio (140 points); 36% by informal writing (360 points); and up to 24% by class participation (240 points). 1000 points (out of 1,200 or more) are required for an A-; 900 for a B-; 800 for a C-; 700 for a D-. Because more than 1200 points will be available, students can emphasize formal over informal writing or vice versa, class discussion more than the portfolio, etc. However, at the end of the course, students will receive exactly the grade recorded in the online gradebook, even if it is one point short of the next higher grade


Print Literacy. Required books consist of the course anthology*; Sewell's Black Beauty; Coetzee's Elizabeth Costello; and Spiegel’s Dreaded Comparison. *FOR THE FIRST ASSIGNMENT, students will need the course anthology, which is a collection of xeroxed materials from Jenn's, 2000 Guadalupe (basement of the Church of Scientology at 22nd and Guadalupe, 473-8669). It will cost about $50. Jenn’s takes major credit cards, of course. If you don’t get there within the first few days you might want to call ahead to make sure they have a copy reserved for you. Digital Literacy. In order to "publish" student writing, basic website skills will be taught. Because the "Five Characteristics of a Successful Student at U.T." include "Good computer skills" as well as "Strong writing skills," students will be expected to check their email frequently (maintaining the correct email address in the U.T. Direct system) along with the course Discussion Boards and Online Gradebook in Blackboard, especially the day before class. Students will download pictures from our class web sites and use multimedia to fulfill all the writing requirements and ultimately collect everything on one portfolio web site. The portfolio will include some of the materials you uploaded to Facebook, where we will have a closed group "to help students develop a small community within the larger whole"(Carnegie's Reinventing Undergraduate Education: A Blueprint for America’s Research Universities ).


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