Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘animal studies

Wednesday Links!

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* CFP: Postcoloniality Animality. CFP: Critical Essays on American Horror Story.

* A local alt-ac workshop for grad students and postdocs at the Center for 21st Century Studies at UWM.

* 10 Cities Where Crime Is Soaring. But there’s a solution, and I call it MONORAIL! STREETCAR! Goddamnit Milwaukee.

Mount St. Mary’s Ableist Plan To Push Out Vulnerable Students. Also from David Perry: Adventures in Universal Design: That Viral Picture of Ramps Set in Stairs.

* During question time at the Salem Rotary, Stone was asked what happened to Sweet Briar. His theory is the old board simply gave up. He had been on accrediting teams that had looked at the school’s finances in the recent past — and never found a hint of trouble. Amazing.

Magic Money and the Partially Funded Sabbatical.

Union-busting at Duke: a brief history.

What Should We Say About David Bowie and Lori Maddox? A little more analysis of the situation from Adam Kotsko.

* Is ISIS No Longer a Good Place to Work?

Was Justice Scalia a Good Legal Writer? The Supreme Court After Scalia.

The last time there has been a vacancy of the length the GOP now proposes was more than 170 years ago. Supreme Court Nominees Considered in Election Years Are Usually Confirmed.

Hillary Clinton is losing faith in her “Latino firewall” in Nevada. Is Nevada Feeling the Bern? Polls predict a tie.

* The U.S. government wants a backdoor into every iPhone.

After years in solitary, a woman struggles to carry on.

The Uncertain Path to Full Professor.

Undiscovered J R R Tolkien poems found in 1936 school magazine.

No Man’s Sky: the game where you can explore 18 quintillion planets.

* Exotic Cosmic Locales Available as Space Tourism Posters.

* And finally someone has taken Judge Judy to task.

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New Course for Spring 2016: “The Lives of Animals”

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Here’s the syllabus for my English research capstone course this semester, titled “The Lives of Animals.” As you can see from the last pages of the syllabus, this course is going to be developed collaboratively with the students, so the post-spring-break units are currently undefined. But here’s the schedule for the first half:

T Jan. 19 FIRST DAY OF CLASS
Th Jan. 21 The Book of Genesis, chapters 1-9 [online]

Post-Spring-Break Discussion

T Jan. 26 Aristotle, “The History of Animals” [AR]

Boria Sax, “Animals as Tradition” [AR]

Post-Spring-Break Discussion Continues

Th Jan. 28 Charles Darwin, The Descent or Origin of Man, Chapter 1 [online]

Jared Diamond, The Third Chimpanzee, excerpts [D2L]

Post-Spring-Break Discussion, Final Decisions

T Feb. 2 Franz Kafka, “A Report to an Academy”
Th Feb. 4 Michael Shermer, The Mind of the Market, Chapter 6 [online]

Will Wiles, “The Behavioral Sink” [online]

Personal Statement Due

T Feb. 9 Franz Kafka, “The Metamorphosis”
Th Feb. 11 Franz Kafka, “Jackals and Arabs”

Clinton R. Sanders and Arnold Arluke, “Speaking for Dogs” [AR]

T Feb. 16 Jeremy Bentham, “Principles of Morals and Legislation” [AR]

Peter Singer, “Animal Liberation or Animal Rights?” [AR]

Martha Nussbaum, “The Moral Status of Animals” [AR]

Th Feb. 18 J.M. Coetzee, The Lives of Animals (part one)
T Feb. 23 J.M. Coetzee, The Lives of Animals (part two)
Th Feb. 25 J.M Coetzee, The Lives of Animals (Garber, Singer, Doniger, Smuts)
T Mar. 1 Coral Lansbury, “The Brown Dog Riots of 1907” [AR]

Lynda Birke, “Into the Laboratory” [AR]

Th Mar. 3 Karen Joy Fowler, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (Parts One and Two)
T Mar. 8 Karen Joy Fowler, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (Part Three)
Th Mar. 10 Karen Joy Fowler, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (Part Four)
T Mar. 15 Karen Joy Fowler, We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves (whole book)

FINAL PAPER—ELEVATOR PITCH DUE ON D2L

     

POST-SPRING-BREAK SCHEDULE AT A GLANCE

WEEKS 10-11 (MARCH 29-APRIL 7): STUDENT-DEVELOPED UNIT #1!

WEEKS 12-13 (APRIL 12-APRIL 21): STUDENT-DEVELOPED UNIT #2!

WEEKS 14-15 (APRIL 26-MAY 5): GROUP PRESENTATIONS!

THURSDAY, MAY 12: FINAL PAPER DUE VIA D2L DROPBOX BY 10 AM!

My other course is my always-very-fun “Magic as Literature” course, which has barely changed from last year except for a little bit of extra time allocated to speculating about Harry Potter and the Cursed Child…

Weekend Links!

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* Coming soon in DC: Anthony Thwaite and Jaimee Hills.

The Nobel Prize in Literature 2015 was awarded to Svetlana Alexievich “for her polyphonic writings, a monument to suffering and courage in our time.” The MetaFilter thread is almost always the best resource for these things. And here she is on Chernobyl.

Please, though, don’t champion work. That is, not a sense of academic life as just work. Work is everywhere in the age of neoliberalism. Advocate for something bigger. Push for community.

* Don’t believe what you read at the Wiki or at the Chroniclethere are basically zero fake searches.

* CFP: Paradoxa 29: “Small Screen Fictions.”

Who Speaks at Meetings? Find Out with GenderTimer.

Third Annual MLA Subconference: Between the Public and Its Privates.

* Coming this month to the Milwaukee Ballet: Dracula.

* …the incarcerated population, if viewed as a single community, would be the fourth-largest city in the United States.

You Are Still Being Lied To: Howard Zinn’s “Columbus and Western Civilization.”

* How gentrifiers gentrify.

Wisconsin legislature takes its eye off the dumpster fire that is the regional economy to focus on the real problems.

This isn’t a fairy tale. Economic historians call the post-war years, 1950 to 1973, the Golden Age because those were the years the US and world economy grew faster than ever before or since. Neoliberalism’s dirty secret is that its policies don’t work that well. It isn’t just since the financial crisis that growth has been stagnant. Even the boom was mediocre. The best year since the election of Ronald Reagan was 1999, when the economy grew an impressive 4.8 percent. Sounds good until you realize that economic growth was higher in 1950, 1951, 1955, 1959, 1962, 1964, 1965, 1966, 1968, 1972, 1973, 1976, and 1978. Even the 1970s, a byword for stagflation and economic turmoil, saw better growth than any decade since.

Miserablism and Resistance at the American Studies Association.

* Great story for my Lives of Animals class: Uplift, Inc.

Here’s Why Sea World in San Diego Can’t Breed Killer Whales Any Longer.

The Secret History Of Myers-Briggs.

* Matt Yglesias: Hillary Clinton Is Our Cheney, and That’s Okay. More on this subject here. In some sense I don’t even disagree with him; American democracy really is doomed, and the project of the liberal-left at this moment (as I’ve said before!) should be actively and deliberately seeking to build its replacement through the construction of a new constitution.

* The problem with the Old Republic was the lack of a strong minority party. No, the problem with the Old Republic was the Jedi.

What Does My Brain Tumor Mean for My Life as a Mother?

Months after winning a national title, Harvard’s debate team has fallen to a group of New York inmates.

* Rick Moranis Isn’t Retired (He Just Doesn’t Know How to Change His Wikipedia Page).

Beautiful study of UFO sightings from ancient history.

* Jacobin: Want to improve animal welfare? Focus on bettering the conditions of the people who work with them.

She was checking on her sons — then ages 11, 9 and 5 — by looking out the window every 10 minutes, she said. But when a passer-by saw the Felix kids, along with a 9-year-old cousin, she assumed they were unsupervised and called the state’s Department of Children and Family Services hotline.

Class action lawsuit filed against DraftKings and FanDuel. How Daily Fantasy Is Changing the Game. You Aren’t Good Enough to Win Money Playing Daily Fantasy Football. Why I’m Quitting Fantasy Baseball.

Playing in the Dark: On Gaming’s Blind Protagonists.

* Unsung songs of the Golden Age of Television: Space Ghost Coast to Coast.

Study Links Fracking To Premature Births, High-Risk Pregnancies.

How Video Games Are Becoming University-Approved Sports.

* I want to believe: Fargo season two.

New Civilization: Beyond Earth Expansion Finally Feels Like Sciene Fiction.

* What financializing pensions hath wrought: California Teachers Have Been Financing Evictions.

* And forever and ever amen.

New Spring 2016 Course: “The Lives of Animals”

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I’ll be teaching two courses in the spring: a second run of my “Magic and Literature” gateway to the major and a senior capstone called “The Lives of Animals.” The first isn’t changing that much from last year, but here’s the description of the latter…

ENGLISH 4997/5997

Course Title: The Lives of Animals

Course Description: We are currently living through a historical moment that many scientists have begun to call “the Anthropocene”: the moment when the activities of human beings become visible in the geological and climatological record of the planet, recognizable many thousands or even millions of years hence. These activities unhappily coincide—and, to an overwhelming extent, have directly caused—what appears to be the beginning of the sixth mass extinction event experienced on Earth since the first evolution of life. The extinction and endangerment of huge numbers of animal species—as well as new research in biology, genomics, and cognitive science that have utterly blurred the once-clear, once-reliable distinction between “human” and “animal”—now calls on us both intellectually and ethically to reconsider the exclusion of animal life from consideration in human political and cultural institutions. This course seeks to answer that call, serving as an introduction to the interdisciplinary scholarly work in the ecological humanities that is increasingly grouped under the heading of “animal studies.” It will also intersect with fervent debates currently raging about the status of animals in the United States and around the world, including contemporary debates about zoos and aquariums; vegetarianism and medical testing; habitat preservation; and even the potential legal personhood of chimps, gorillas, dolphins, and other higher-order mammals. It will, in addition, serve as the research capstone to your English major experience at Marquette, affording you the academic tools and the creative space to independently develop a project of significant literary-critical scholarship on the troubled and troubling figure of “the animal,” exploring some of the different ways animals have been taken up as a problem by writers and thinkers working in multiple historical periods, media, genres, and literary-cultural forms.

Readings: Will be partially determined collaboratively in our initial class meetings by your interests, but will include key philosophical, scientific, and documentary texts about animal consciousness and “animal personhood,” as well as literary texts drawn from a list including Aesop’s Fables; Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels; J.M. Coetzee’s The Lives of Animals; the Planet of the Apes franchise; Philip K. Dick’s Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?; Karen Joy Fowler’s We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves; the short fiction of Octavia E. Butler, Margaret Atwood, Leo Szilard, Sofia Samatar, and James Tiptree Jr.; Lauren Beukes’s Zoo City and Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials; and Disney films about animals like The Lion Kingand The Jungle Book.

Assignments: reflective personal statement, annotated bibliography, major research paper, conference-style presentation, weekly forum posts, class participation