Honors 202 002: Representing Animals

Dr. Morillo

Tompkins G117  M W 1:30-2:45 

Fall 2017 3 credit hours

Office=Tompkins 270; phone: 513-8040

email = morillo@ncsu.edu

web page syllabus = http://www4.ncsu.edu/unity/users/m/morillo/public/hon20217.htm

Office Hours: M W 10-11; T 10:30-12 and by appointment



Honors Discovering Literature Courses

Discovering Literature Courses study works of literature to treat the themes of inquiry and discovery--its risks, its creativeness, its ambiguities and complexities, and its moral dilemmas--through selected works from literature and other media, including theater, music, visual arts, and film. Analysis of each work includes attention to its historical context, internal structure, and how it reveals the nature of inquiry and discovery.

Representing Animals

How and why have people represented animals in words and images? How has it changed from the classical period to the present? What do different fields suggest can be known about animals, why does that knowledge matter, and to whom? Are they granted consciousness, ethical importance, spirit, or independent agency? Are they seen as more suitable a subject of knowledge for children or for adults? Do they have a place and stake in human politics, and if so, why? Readings will necessarily be selective rather than exhaustive, and will include examples from fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, and from English, American, and some other literatures in translation. As a course grounded in literature and taught by an English professor, the importance of how these fields write about their animal subjects and construct them rhetorically as objects of knowledge and interest will be central, but visual representations (film, video, TV, advertising) will complement the readings.


Prerequisites and Descriptive Statements


No prerequisites. Restricted to University Honors Program students. Open to other students by permission of the UHP


GEP Information

 GEP Category: Humanities

Each category in the Humanities will provide instruction and guidance that help students to:

GEP objective #1: Engage the human experience through interpretation of human culture

GEP objective #2: Become aware of the act of interpretation itself as a critical form of knowing in the humanities.

GEP objective #3: Make academic arguments about human experience using reasons and evidence for supporting those reasons that are appropriate to the humanities.


Course Outcomes

At the end of the course students should be able to:

Course Requirements


1. Attendance =
5% of final grade. 0 absences = A+, 1-2 absences = A, 3 absences = A-; 4 absences = C-, 5 absences = D-, 6 or more absences = F

2. Participation in discussions, quizzes, other writing and speaking assignments = 10%

3. Animals and Arguments Paper 5 pages = 15%
4. Midterm exam = 20%

5. Written Research Proposal =10%

6. . Research Paper 10 pages  = 25%

7. Creative Project = 15%

total                                                           100%

Percentages for each required graded category are figured via a percentage of a 12-pt. scale in which an A+ =12 and
an F=0 points. For example, a B+ on paper 1 would net you 9 x .15 or .1.35 points.  Or, a C on participation nets you 10 x .15 or .1.0.  I then add up the percentage points for each required category to determine your grade.  For example, an 8.2 final score = B for the class.

Participation includes your grades on periodic quizzes, and coming to class prepared, having done the readings and being able to talk and write about them intelligently.

You must complete all the required work to pass the class.  I will grade plus/minus.

Policies on Attendance: You are allowed 3 absences. If you are absent, unexcused, more than 3 times over the course of the semester, your absences will count progressively against your final grade, as a significant part of your final grade. Every 2 unexcused absences beyond the allowed 3 loses you a half letter grade. Anyone who misses the first two classes can be immediately dropped from the class. For university attendance policy and the definition of an unexcused absence 

Plagiarism: Anyone convicted will receive an F for the paper, or the course at my discretion.
And yes, I have caught people in the past.

Late Assignment Policies: Papers received ONE class session late will be accepted but docked a full grade.
No late papers accepted after one class session late.

Policy on Incompletes:

As stated by the university grading policy, "An IN must not be used...as a substitute for an F when the student's performance in the course is deserving of failing. An IN is only appropriate when the student's record in the course is such that the successful completion of particular assignments, projects, or tests missed as a result of a documented serious event would enable that student to pass the course." In this class, a grade of "IN" will only be given (1) in response to a written student request [email is fine] submitted to the instructor before 4:00 on the last day of classes; (2) at the instructor’s discretion; and (3) because of a serious interruption a student's work not caused by his/her own negligence. The university's policy on incompletes REG02.50.03) can be found at policies.ncsu.edu/regulation/reg-02-50-03

Statement for Students with Disabilities: Reasonable accommodations will be made for students with verifiable disabilities. In order to take advantage of available accommodations, students must register with Disability Services for Students at 1900 Student Health Center, Campus
            Box 7509, 515-7653. http://www.ncsu.edu/dso/

Academic Integrity Assumption
Universities are unique communities committed to creating and transmitting knowledge. They depend on freedom - individuals' freedom to explore ideas and to explore and further their own capabilities. Those freedoms depend on the good will and responsible behavior of all the members of the community, who must treat each other with tolerance and respect. They must allow each other to develop the full range of their capabilities and take full advantage of the institution's resources. Honor Pledge: Your signature on any test or assignment means that the student neither gave nor received unauthorized aid.

Anti-discrimination Statement

Course Materials
Print Texts --available now in the NCSU bookstore.

1.      Kaloff, Linda and Amy Fitzgerald, eds. The Animals Reader: The Essential Classics and Contemporary Writings. Berg, 2007.
Required Online Texts all linked within class days below:

2.      Weil, Kari. Thinking Animals: Why Animal Studies Now? Columbia UP, 2012.

3.      Dick, Philip K. Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?

Other Media: DVDs

Herzog, Werner, dir. Grizzly Man. (DVD shown in Honor's Village tba)

Copperthwaite, Gabriella, dir. Blackfish (DVD shown in Honor’s Village tba)

Help with Writing, Thinking, and Argument

·         How to Use the Oxford English Dictionary Online (Morillo)


·         Bloom's Taxonomy of Cognitive Levels (Wilson)

Guide to Writiing Argument (Morillo) : revised paper structure diagram 

   points and paragraphs       introductions 

Animal Studies Research Resources

·         Secondary Works: Scholarhsip in Animal Studies

·         Sample Works for Final Research Papers

·         An academic journal devoted to human animal studies: Humanimalia (DePau University)




W Aug. 16


M. Aug 21

Reading Animals in Literature: Kij Johnson, 26 Monkeys


Franz Kafka “A Report to the Academy”

W. Aug. 23

What is Animal Studies? Weil “A Report on the Animal Turn”

M. Aug. 28

A Key Historical Debate: Descartes vs. Montaigne on Animal Being

(Animals Reader pp. 59-62; 57-58)

W. Aug. 30


Weil “Is a Pet an Animal?” (53-62); “Gendered Subjects. Abject Objects:

Man(n)’s Best Friend” (63-80); Tuan “Animal Pets: Cruelty and Affection” (Animals Reader pp. 141-153)

Your Questions

M. Sept. 4

NO CLASS Labor Day Holiday

W. Sept. 6


Berger “Why Look at Animals?” (Animals Reader pp. 251-61)

Malamud “Zoo Spectatorship” (Animals Reader 219-36)

M. Sept. 11

 Weil “Seeing Animals” (pp. 25-50)

Weil discusses Bill Viola's video "I Do Not Know What It Is I Am Like"

Monday Night: Blackfish showing in Clark

T Sept. 12 tba

W. Sept. 13

Discuss Blackfish

M. Sept. 18


Defoe Robinson Crusoe (1719)

W. Sept. 20

CartmillHunting and Humanity in Western Thought (Animals Reader 237-44)


F. Sept. 22

NO class but  First Paper Due
       via email by noon

M. Sept.


Animals Ancient and Modern

Aesop, Fables (6th century BCE?)

Fables about Lions: Section 1: The Lion and the Mouse, The Kingdom of the Lion, The Man and the Lion, The Sick Lion, The Lion in Love, The Lion, the Mouse and the Fox; Section 4 : The Shepherd and the Lion.


Section 1: The Hare and the Tortoise


W Sept. 27

Aesop’s Animals Reconfigured:

 "The Tortoise and the Hare": Walt Disney (1934)  

Encyclopaedia Britannica Educational Films (1947)  


Mercedes-Benz USA "The Big Race (Tortoise and the Hare)" (2015)


M. Oct. 2

Plinius Secundus (Pliny the Elder) (77 CE) Natural History
Pliny  biography 

Dedication/Preface to Natural History

from Book 8 The Nature of the Terrestrial Animals Ch. (XVI [16]) :on lions

all of the books are listed in the lefthand menu

W. Oct. 4


M Oct. 9

Selections from a Medieval Bestiary  (14th Century)
click "Beasts "then "Alphabetic" to find individual animal entries

Read entries on: Asp (Leith), Basilisk (Victoria), Bat (Riley), Crocodile (Mollie), Hedgehog (Scott) Hyena (Natalie), Lion (Elissa) Jaculus (Leif), Mermaid (Anisha), Newt (Adam), Nightingale (Katie), Owl (Laura), Panther (Matt), Pelican (Elisabeth), Sawfish (Nadeem), Snake (Sam), Syren (Claire) , Tiger (Trevor), Viper (Morgan), Weasel (Jack), Whale  (Timmy)


W. Oct. 11

Animals in Early Modern French Literature: Beast Fables and Epics

Reynard the Fox (Cartwright trans., 1902; pp. 1-120)


The first English translation: William Caxton

reynart the foxe Date: 1481 Reel position: STC / 12:12 
Copy from: British Library 

(Caxton trans.of Reynard, 1481, rpt. 1889) open pdf

Reynard from word, to manuscript, to book


M. Oct. 16

Reynard Reconfigured

in 1942 during WW II, a Dutch animation studio working for Hitler's Nazi ministry of propaganda created a 20 minute animated version of Reynard. Read about it here:


Brief clip from the original animated movie


Acocella “Fox News: What the Stories of Reynard Tell Us About Ourselves” New Yorker 4 May 2015

W. Oct. 18

Perrault, Puss in Boots (1697) (read all)

Original Table of Contents and Title for Perrault's French edition

M. Oct. 23

Perrault’s Puss Reconfigured

Walt Disney, dir. & animator Puss in Boots (1922) 10 min. film


Hayao Miyazaki, dir & animator Puss in Boots (199-) trailer


Chris Miller, dir. Puss in Boots (2011). watch the trailer


W. Oct. 25

Eighteenth-Century British Animal Poems

William Cowper, selected poems:

 "Epitaph on a Hare"; "On a Goldfinch Starved to Death in his Cage"; "To the Immortal Memory of the Halibut on which I Dined this Day" (1784) "The Colubriad" (1782/1802) 

M. Oct. 30

Some Reflections on Cruelty Toward the Brute Creation (1796)

Go to the e-table of contents: Read the Preface, then pages 53-61 in "Epistle the First" then the "Letter from Philalethes to the Author" and "Letter to Philalethes" (pp. 100-110)

Research Paper Proposals Due       Prior strong proposal

W. Nov. 1

Nineteenth-Century Animals:

The Darwins’ Intellectual Revolution: Evolution in Art and Science

Erasmus Darwin:

Temple of Nature (1803) selections from this copy in Google Books:

Preface (2 pp)

Canto I. p. 3  lines 1-14 ; page 19- 39 lines 223-450 (end of Canto I)

Canto II p. 54 read 2nd paragraph of footnote on p. 54: pp 54-56, lines 125-158 on Adam and Eve; pp. 77-78 lines 435-446 on the Tree of Knowledge

Canto III Proud Man/Human Distinction  pp. 92- 93 lines 117-130;  Of language pp. 112-113 lines 331-370; 401-434

Canto IV Nature as Great Slaughterhouse: pp. 130-131 lines 17-27; pp. 133-134 lines 55-66

Geology and evolution: pp. 165-166 lines 429-454 and his footnote to his own Phytologia on p. 165

Erasmus Darwin, prose from Phytologia “The Happiness of Organic Life” (1800)


M. Nov. 6

Charles Darwin, Origin of Species (1859) Introduction 
Expression of Emotion in Man and Animals, 
Ch. 5 "Special Expressions of Animals" pp. 116-146

Ch. 14 "Concluding Remarks and Summary" pp. 348-367

W. Nov. 8

Rudyard Kipling, from The Jungle Book (1894) "Rikki-Tikki-Tavi

Choose Read this book online: HTML


Th Nov 9 Herzog, Grizzly Man  Shown in Clark 8 PM.

M. Nov. 13

After the Anthropocene?


Discuss Grizzly Man

W. Nov. 15

Creative Projects Due: Whichever Day You Present your Project is Due Today, in class

group 1 presents

Presenting today = Leith, Leif, Nadeem (as group); Elissa and Mollie (as group) plus these individuals: Victoria, Riley, Scott, Natalie, Adam, Katie

M. Nov. 20

Creative Projects: group 2 presents Presenting today: Anisha and Claire (as a group), Laura and Elisabeth (as a group) plus these individuals: Matt, Sam, Trevor, Morgan, Jack, Timmy

W. Nov. 22

No class

M. Nov. 27



Weil, “Animal Studies, Posthumanism, and Oz” (pp. 146-150)


Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep (chapters 1-11)

W. Nov. 29

Dick, finish the novel (chapters 12-22) discussion 


M. Dec. 4

Final Research Paper Due Monday, December 4 : as emailed file



Return to Dr. Morillo Home Page