Fall 2017 Undergraduate English Courses
358:361 Thinking Beyond the Human
01 MTH3 CAC 15110 MANGHARAM SC-216
How has the idea of the human shaped ethical political movements around the globe? And what role have literatures played in expressing and promoting the idea of a shared humanity? Has the very categorizing of humanity in particular ways led to the exclusion of those who do not fall into that category? This course will explore these questions before turning to the 'posthuman' turn in literary studies, which has been critical of the category of the human. In particular, we will explore the posthumanist subfield of animal studies, which questions social, psychological and biological boundaries between humans and animals and attempts to redefine the human species by analyzing its relationship with its animal counterpart. Texts will include Joseph Conrad's Heart of Darkness, Arundhati Roy's God of Small Things, Indra Sinha's Animal's People, and J.M. Coetzee's The Lives of Animals. Throughout, we will consider the role that literary form has played in consolidating and challenging conventional ways of viewing the human.