To ask “what is an animal? ” entails wondering about what is being human. We have become increasingly aware that animals are not to be relegated to the category of pure otherness, can be disposed off and slaughtered at will, and that they may even have some rights. Taking a philosophical point of departure with Derrida (The Animal that therefore I am.) and Agamben (The Open: Man and Animal), we will explore a literary corpus (with Aesop, Cervantes, Poe, Soseki, Ted Hughes, Marianne Moore, Kakfa, J. M. Coetzee) as well as a few films (The Fly, Grizzly Man) so as to question our usual assumptions about the limits separating humanity from animality.
Giorgio Agamben, The Open, Man and Animal
Cervantes, Exemplary Stories
Coetzee, Elizabeth Costello
Derrida, The Animal that therefore I am
Ted Hughes, Collected Poems
Kafka, Complete Stories
Marianne Moore, Complete Poems
Soseki Natsume, I am a cat
Requirements: one film journal, two papers and one oral presentation.