Jul 20, 2024  
Catalogue 2015-2016 
Catalogue 2015-2016 [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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ENST 260 - Issues in Environmental Studies

Semester Offered: Fall
1 unit(s)
The purpose of this course is to examine in depth an issue, problem, or set of issues and problems in environmental studies, to explore the various ways in which environmental issues are embedded in multiple contexts and may be understood from multiple perspectives. The course topic changes from year to year.

Topic for 2015/16b: Animal Metaphors.  When humans place themselves above and beyond nature, they are more likely to engage in practices destructive to the environment.  The purpose of this course is to discover how and why humans so often define themselves in opposition to the animal world, and to use both art and science to explore alternative identities that would help us come to terms with our own “animal” being. As we consider stories about animals in various works of literature and film, we study humans themselves as a species to which evolution has bequeathed a host of traits and capacities, including the capacity for story-telling.  Readings in cognitive science and evolutionary psychology help us reframe questions of human identity in relation to animals. Towards the end of the course, we examine ways in which various cultural narratives, including ecocriticism, have been transformed by a more scientifically informed appreciation of animals as metaphors, and of humans as “metaphorizing animals.” The course is taught in English. Works of French literature are in translation. Ms. Hart and Mr. Long.

Two 75-minute periods.

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