Not currently offered

Credit points: 15

Subject outline

Animals loom large in human literature, just as they loom large in human lives, but can humans write or read the experience of other animals? Are animals in literature ever more than symbolic substitutes for humans, or more than the other against which the category of the human is defined? Literary Creatures will investigate literary representations of animals in texts as various as the book of Genesis, Charles Darwin's Origin of Species, Virginia Woolf's Flush and Jacques Derrida's essay about standing naked before his pet cat. It will critically investigate the Western philosophical literature that describes and defines and in some cases polices the human/non-human animal relationship. It will ask you to investigate the assumptions encoded by our lexicon - humans, humane, animal, brutal - and to think about how texts explore the subjectivity of humans and other animals in human language.

FacultyFaculty of Humanities & Social Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorAlexis Harley

Available to Study Abroad StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 4 - UG/Hons/1st Yr PG

Exchange StudentsYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

Prerequisites Enrolment in either AHA-Bachelor of Arts Honours or AHCA-Bachelor of Creative Arts Honours degrees.


Incompatible subjectsN/A

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Special conditionsN/A

Learning resources


Resource TypeTitleResource RequirementAuthor and YearPublisher
ReadingsAngels and InsectsPrescribedA S Byatt.
ReadingsFlushPrescribedVirginia WoolfN/A
ReadingsOn CatsPrescribedDoris LessingN/A
ReadingsThe Companion Species ManifestoPrescribedDonna HarawayN/A
ReadingsThe Complete MausPrescribedArt SpiegelmanN/A
ReadingsThe Lives of AnimalsPrescribedJ M CoetzeeN/A
ReadingsThe White BonePrescribedBarbara GowdyN/A

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