Iowa State University
Literature and Society: Capturing Animals
In this course, our overarching goal will be to develop an understanding of what animals “mean” in our culture and of the many ways we use animals-as companions, as metaphors and images to represent fears, pleasures, and assumptions, as food, as objects for pleasure and sadly for abuse, as commodities, as projections of qualities we wish to possess. We will also be participating in a new educational approach called Service-Learning so that in addition to using literary and theoretical printed and visual work as our course texts, we will also be using your own experiences and reflections. During your service at the Iowa City/Coralville Animal Center, the stories and insights that you collect there will essentially form an additional course text. In effect, we’ll be “capturing animals” throughout the semester: in fiction, in the Animal Center, in advertisements, in theoretical accounts of human-animal relations, in community policies governing animals, in university policies on animal research, in popular culture, and in politics. Throughout the semester, we’ll return to a number of research questions which will knit together class readings, your service at the Animal Center, and, I hope, ultimately the reflections, discussions, written work, and research that will bind us together as a class.
First Year Seminar: Dogs Inside and Out
Texts include Man Meets Dog by Konrad Lorenz, and Inside of a Dog by Alexandra Horowitz, and students will complete a final project during which they will pursue a question of interest about dogs-anything from how dogs interact with each other and with humans at the dog park, to how dogs are represented in adolescent literature, or the position of dogs in specific communities.
This elective comprises readings and discussions of animal welfare theory, and how these concepts may be applied to issues of veterinary medicine and animal care. Students participate in weekly seminars, involving discussions and background readings. Students develop skills in analysing and communicating concepts of animal welfare.
Animals, Culture, and Food
Human Impacts on the Environment
Matthew E. Hill
Religion and Environmental Ethics