English | Projects In Reading and Writing: A Horse is a Horse, Of Course
W170 | 6961 | Lonich


6961    TR    9:30a-10:45a    WH 006    Elise Lonich

TOPIC: A Horse is a Horse, Of Course: Of Course?

Our pets often hold a privileged place in our lives; they provide
comfort, warmth, companionship, amusement, and - more frequently
than we may be willing to admit - instruction. Domestication raises
singular issues concerning the ways in which different species
interact, the bounds within which they may travel, and the
possibility that though differing species may inhabit the same
environment, their experience of and interaction with that
environment may be quite different.

Throughout this course, we will be thinking with one companion
species in particular-horses. We will consider the ways in which
horses and humans not only interact but also mutually shape the
worlds that both inhabit. In our examination of the horse-human
relationship, we will pursue, but not be limited to, the following
questions: Why are horses so often linked with childhood - and with
girlhood in particular? At the opposite end of life's spectrum, what
happens when horses represent old age, suffering, and end-of-life
issues? Is there any way that the culture of horse racing can help
us discover our human drives for discipline and training? And since
we are considering horses, what marks the line between companion
species and livestock?

We will begin our course by examining some theoretical texts that
will orient our thinking and vocabulary toward the nature of
companion species. We will then gallop into the engaging and varied
world of horse-human relations, which will include the films
National Velvet and Black Beauty, and the written texts Seabiscuit,
Equus, and Leo Tolstoy's underappreciated short story, "Strider".
We'll also be watching clips from Western films and television toy
commercials; additionally, short readings concerning mythic,
archetypal horses will be peppered throughout the course.

Please note that as this course fulfills the English Composition
requirement, we will be continuously engaged in the process of
learning, developing, and practicing the analytical reading and
writing skills necessary for a successful college career. You will
write a series of analytical essays, and the final essay will be on
a topic of your choosing which will allow you to explore any aspect
of our course in greater detail.