Looking for the Beast: Animals in Literature, Film and Culture

Subject associations
FRE 517 / COM 512
Fall 2023
André Benhaïm
Registrar description

This course focuses on the way literature, film, but also cultural events and spaces (circus, zoo, museum) present animals as objects of admiration and subjects of performance. We consider the fascination that animals inspire in humans, which might lead to question the distinction between "us" and "them". What is at stake, what are the consequences, for us and for them, when animals are seen or shown as an elusive Other who still beckons a closer encounter? How does the poetic power of language, or the evocative nature of images, affect their agency and our empathy, and eventually our mutual relationship?