Animal Writes builds on art and scholarship in the humanities, arts, and sciences to explore past and present relations between human and non-human animals through writing, reading, and contemplative practices indoors and outdoors. This program explores human-animal relations from a range of disciplinary and interdisciplinary perspectives with a focus on literary arts, creative writing, contemplative practices, and ecological humanities. While the course does not give instruction in the sciences, some of the authors we will read do rely on scientific research to do their work. Reading about changes to habitats and organismic adaptation will form part of how we can better understand anthropogenic (human caused) stresses on animals. We will explore, how can we, as non-scientists, understand and incorporate scientific findings into our own work in order to strengthen it? We will also engage in contemplative, phenomenological practices towards honing our capacity to attune to the more-than-human world, interdependency, and animal life.
Participants will have the support and structure to develop a writing project in the genre and methodology of their choosing (fiction, poetry, essay, cross-genre) under the sign of interspecies poetics. Authors are likely to include Thalia Field, Judy Grahn, J.M. Coetzee, Amitav Ghosh, Alexis Pauline Gumbs, Franz Kafka, Timothy Morton among others. The program is remote, and requires access to a computer and the internet. It entails both synchronous class meetings and asynchronous, self-paced learning. Synchronous class sessions will include seminars on the reading; generative writing exercises; contemplative practices; and workshops where participants give and receive feedback from each other on works-in-progress. Asynchronous, self-paced learning practices include reading, writing, and contemplative practices indoors and outdoors.
Course Reference Numbers
literature, editing, community arts, interdisciplinary ecological humanities, bioethics