English | Topics in English and American Literature and Culture
L208 | 32612 | Alyce Miller

Alyce Miller

5:45p-8:15p TR (30 students) 3 cr. A&H.

TOPIC:  "The Literary and Legal Animal"

Have you ever pondered the lives of animals and the kinds of
relationships you personally have to animals? Have you asked
yourself what it means to "love" animals, or "not love" them? What
kinds of moral/ethical obligations, if any, do you think we owe
animals? Where do you fall on the spectrum of animal welfare and
animal rights? Do you believe that animals should be free of
needless suffering? Do you think animals have a right to happiness?
If so, what does animal happiness look like? We will look at some of
these complex issues through literature and law. Should animals we
view as pets be given different treatment from animals we consume
for food and clothing? We will pursue "the question of the animal"---
-that is, our relationships and interactions with, uses and
treatment of----by blending literary texts (novels, stories, essays,
and poems) with essays by various philosophers, ethicists,
ethologists, and lawyers. There will likely be a couple of films, as
well. We will look at how these various representations reflect and
shape societal attitudes which, in turn, reflect and shape our laws.
Assignments will include regularly assigned response papers and
weekly essay quizzes, at least one paper on a topic of your choice,
and an exam. Dedication to active and participation in discussions
and careful preparation of the assignments  in advance of class are
absolutely essential.

Important note: Be cause this is an eight-week session, we will have
a regular class our first meeting, as well as the first quiz. The
assignment for our first class will be posted on my home page by
October 10. Go to the lefthand side, Student Pages, and click
on "Teaching Schedule." http://mypage.iu.edu/~almiller/
 Please be sure to carefully
prepare the assigned readings in advance. If you have any difficulty
accessing the assignment, please email me directly at
almiller@indiana.edu .