Animals, Culture, & Society
ENGL 3050-H06      HONORS 3700-H0
MW 3:30-4:45 pm - Fretwell 206

This course will explore the ways that animals are both conceptualized and utilized in various cultures. The object of the course is to develop a fuller understanding not only of what animals "mean" to humans and how humans respond to animals, but how we address the “post-human condition.” Though this is NOT a biology class, we won’t shy

away from zoology and physiology,

as they are central to any approach

to animals, whether ecological,

historical, or behavioral. The course

will draw on the cultural and

metaphoric use of animals

(in literature, art, and philosophy),

the consumption of animals

(as food and clothing), the

scientific status of animals

(in experiments and as

objects of study), the

recreational use of animals

(in hunting, zoos, aquariums, safari parks, and as pets), and, in a broader context, the emblematic use of animals.  The overarching issue in this course, however, will be animal cognition, a thorny philosophical and zoological topic that has been the subject of a great deal of discussion in cultural studies, psychology & neurobiology, and philosophy. How do we evaluate the quality of animal thinking or the nature of awareness, sense of self, or experiential process.


Course Description:

Franz Kafka. The Metamorphosis. Penguin. ISBN: 0143105248

Mary Midgley. Animals and Why They Matter. U. of Georgia Pr. ISBN: 0820320412

Knut Schmidt-Nielsen. How Animals Work. Cambridge Univ. Press. ISBN: 0521096928

Jenny Diski.  What I don’t Know About Animals. Yale University Press ISBN-10: 0300176848

James Serpell, In the Company of Animals : A Study of Human-Animal Relationships. Cambridge U. Press. 0521577799

Anna Sewell. Black Beauty. Puffin. ISBN: 9780141321035

Donna Haraway. When Species Meet (Posthumanities). ISBN: 0816650462

Jay Hosler. Evolution: The Story of Life on Earth. Hill and Wang.  ISBN: 0809094762


    The “SCIENCE TIMES” section of the NY Times (TUESDAYS)


     One book (your choice) from REAKTION PRESS’s  “Animal Series” (Available on Amazon)


PROF: Alan Rauch
    Department of English
     Fretwell 235k
TEL: 704.687.6158
    & By appt.

Noteworthy Animal Images:

What currencies 
display animals prominently & what impact might
this have?

Animal Links
World Wildlife Fund
BBC Nature Wildlife 
NetVet & Electronic Zoo
National Geographic
Marine Mammal Center
IUCN-Nature Conservation

The Code of Student Academic Integrity governs the responsibility of students to maintain integrity in academic work, defines violations of the standards, describes procedures for handling alleged violations
of the standards, and lists applicable penalties. The following conduct is prohibited in that Code as violating those standards: 
Cheating. Intentionally using or attempting to use unauthorized materials, information, notes, study aids or other devices in any academic exercise. This definition includes unauthorized communication of information during an academic exercise. 
Fabrication and Falsification. Intentional and unauthorized alteration or invention of any information or citation in an academic exercise. Falsification is a matter of altering information, while fabrication is a matter of inventing or counterfeiting information for use in any academic exercise. 
Multiple Submission. The submission of substantial portions of the same academic work (including oral reports) for credit more than once without authorization. 
Plagiarism. Intentionally or knowingly presenting the work of another as one's own (i.e., without proper acknowledgment of the source). The sole exception to the requirement of acknowledging sources is when the ideas, information, etc., are common knowledge. (NOTE: For more information regarding plagiarism,         seePLAGIARISM Appendix at 
 Abuse of Academic Materials. Intentionally or knowingly destroying, stealing, or making inaccessible library or other academic resource material. F. Complicity in Academic Dishonesty. Intentionally or knowingly helping or attempting to help another to commit an act of academic dishonesty!

      IF YOU HAVE 
       or  USING SOURCES, 
      PLEASE TALK TO     
      ME BEFORE IT   
      BECOMES AN ISSUE!,%20Culture,%20%26%20Society%20-UNCC


Off-site Paper:  Visit an animal oriented “site” (Zoo/Raptor Center/Horse Protection Society/Exterminator/Veterninary Clinic/Pet Store) and develop a brief report on your observations (observation should last at least 5 hours).  This brief report will then be developed into a fuller (10+ page) paper that analyses the issues you address in a fuller and more researched manner.

                                                                  Report: 10%

                                                                  Paper:   30%

Animal Study & Presentation: Drawing on your reading specifically from the book you ordered from the “Reaktion” series, develop an analytical presentation (10 minutes)and brief accompanying paper (3 pages) on “your” species.

                                                                   Presentation: 15%

                                                                   Paper:             5%

Human-Animals Paper: Develop a more philosophical/literary paper on some issue pertaining to human-animal relationships.

                                                                    Paper:           30%

Participation/Animal News: This is not merely class participation, but includes your efforts to bring animal issues/observations into class for casual discussion.

                                                                    Particip:        10%