Skye Cervone, Ph.D.

ENC 1939: Animals in Western Culture

This course will introduce students through reading and writing to the emerging field of Animal Studies, which considers the relationship between human and non-human animals. Additionally, we will investigate the connection of the morality and ethics surrounding Animal Studies to topics such as economics and gender. Peter Singer argues “a liberation movement demands an expansion of our moral horizons, so that practices that were previously regarded as natural and inevitable are now seen as intolerable” (1). As a class, we will read and write about ideas around liberation and prejudice through the lens of Animal Studies. We will engage in questions such as: What separates human from non-human animals? What is the relationship between animal cuteness and worth? We will evaluate and analyze as we engage contemporary written and visual discourse. With its focus on ethics, morality, prejudice, and the interconnections of these ideas with Popular Culture, Literature, and Environmental Studies, Animal Studies offers an effective way to question preconceived notions and implicit biases. ENC 1939 is a writing intensive course.