Center for Respect of Life and Environment (CRLE)
Thomas Berry Award & Lecture
Center for Respect of Life and Environment (CRLE)


Institution: Purchase College, State University of New York, Purchase, NY 10577
Course Title: Animals in American Literature (ALI 3711.20)
Instructor: Tracy Basile, 914-251-6500, [email protected]
Summary: Through fiction and literary nonfiction, this course examines the significant roles that animals have played in American culture—both past and present. Works by American authors are read and compared for the ways in which animals are depicted and the ways in which these depictions reflect and shape popular social values. By analyzing works in which animals play key roles, students will hone their skills in critical and creative thinking, writing and speaking and they will emerge with and understanding of how animals make us human. Offered Summer and Fall 2004.

Institution: University of Iowa, Iowa City, Iowa
Course Title: Literature and Society: Capturing Animals
Instructors: Teresa Mangum
Summary: In this course, the overarching goal will be to develop an understanding of what animals "mean" in our culture and of the many ways we use animals--as companions, as metaphors and images to represent fears, pleasures, and assumptions, as food, as objects for pleasure and sadly for abuse, as commodities, as projections of qualities we wish to possess. We will be participating in a new educational approach called Service-Learning so that in additon to using literary and theoretical printed and visual work as our course texts, we will also be using your own experiences and reflections. During your service at the Iowa City/Coralville Animal Center, the stories and insights that you collect there will essentially form an additional course text. In effect, we will be "capturing animals" throughout the semester: in fiction, in the Animal Center, in advertisements, in theoretical accounts of human-animal relations, in community policies governing animals, in university policies on animal researhc, in popular culture, and in politics. View syllabus here.

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Institution: Webster University, Saint Louis, MO
Course Title: Perspectives: Humans and Other Animals (English2110)
Instructor: Karla Armbruster, Associate Professor, [email protected] , 314-961-2660, ext. 7577
Summary: Almost all works of literature include animals, no doubt because of the many ways that human lives are intertwined with those of other animals. But we often don't pay close attention to how these animals are represented in the literature we read, particularly if they exist on the peripheries of the human story rather than serving as the focus. In this course, we will put what we might call "literary beasts" in the spotlight, reading a wide variety of fiction, poetry, and essays that somehow address the relationship between humans and other animals, whether the animals function as symbols, realistic "beasts," competitors or allies in the human struggle for existence, fellow creatures with acknowledged moral standing, or even the narrators of stories and the speakers of poems. We will ask what these varied representations of animals can tell us about the different human cultures which produced them, what--if anything--we can learn from them about "real" animals, and how they might affect our own relationships with the animals who touch our lives in so many ways.
Course offering information: This course was first taught in Spring 2005. It will usually be taught every two years. It will probably be taught again in Fall 2006 or Fall 2007.


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