ENGH 308: Theory and Inquiry

ENGH 308-001: Fictions of the Human
(Fall 2022)

01:30 PM to 02:45 PM TR

Horizon Hall 4010

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Section Information for Fall 2022

This course will think about how “the human” is not a species but an ideological tool—a strategy of delineating ethical obligations and distributing political power. From the dehumanizing structures of racism to fantasies of species exceptionalism, the human is a powerful and slippery fiction that justifies violence and naturalizes injustice. Qualities of the human distinguish citizens from the enslaved and pets from meat—who counts and who is consumable. Students will be introduced to a variety of ways of thinking about the problem of the human by reading theoretical texts from the fields of Black studies, posthumanism, feminist studies, literary studies, animal studies, disability studies, and poststructuralism. We will read these theoretical texts alongside works of literature, including a novel, a play, and a song. Course requirements will include enthusiastic class participation, weekly close readings of literature through the lens of a theoretical text, a group presentation, and two papers.

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Course Information from the University Catalog

Credits: 3

Investigates a problem or debate central to the discipline of English. Teaches students how to read, understand, and engage with theoretical texts. Notes: May be repeated for credit when topic is different. May be repeated within the term.
Specialized Designation: Topic Varies
Schedule Type: Lec/Sem #1, Lec/Sem #2, Lec/Sem #3, Lec/Sem #4, Lec/Sem #5, Lec/Sem #6, Lec/Sem #7, Lec/Sem #8, Lec/Sem #9, Lecture, Sem/Lec #10, Sem/Lec #11, Sem/Lec #12, Sem/Lec #13, Sem/Lec #14, Sem/Lec #15, Sem/Lec #16, Sem/Lec #17, Sem/Lec #18
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

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