Jan 15, 2021  
Catalogue 2020-2021 
    
Catalogue 2020-2021
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GRST 302 - The Blegen Seminar

Semester Offered: Spring
1 unit(s)
Topic for 2020/21b: What do you think of when you hear the word “animal”? Your pet cat or an elephant in the zoo? The English word “animal” does not translate the words zoon (Greek) or animal (Latin) exactly and has come to distinguish humans from non-humans today—but did the Greeks and Romans feel the same way? Taking this question as our starting point, this course explores whether classical philosophy, literature, art, and material culture ever show a real concern for animals or simply treat animals as ciphers for anthropocentric issues. It also considers current issues in the animal rights movement and the effects of climate change and the Industrial Meat Complex on animals today. After establishing the status of animals in ancient literature and philosophy, we move on to the use of animals in daily life in Greece and Rome. We also discuss archaeological evidence for animal sacrifice and farming, as well as how ancient people rationalized fossils and mass extinction events. Finally, we look at the influence of Buddhism, Christianity, and other ethical and religious movements on the development of and push back against animal rights (particularly through factory farming, veganism, and climate change). Readings and assignments introduce you to a variety of sources from the ancient world; no prior knowledge of animal studies or Greek and Roman Studies is required.  Margaret Elsner.

Two 75-minute periods.

Course Format: CLS



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