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Animals in the Humanities

Language of instruction: English

About the module: Recently, the traditional claim of human exceptionalism -that we are essentially and categorically different from all other animals- has been questioned by representatives of post humanist thinking. These scholars question the agency of the autonomous, self-willed human and emphasize shared vulnerability and interdependence instead. What are the consequences of this shift in our understanding of our relationship with animals?

An important aim of the course is to question issues that we often take for granted: for example to demonstrate that the very definition and classification of animals is a social construct, which has been deeply influenced by historical and cultural factors. It also considers the huge varieties of in attitudes to animals across the globe and also the significant changes in the status of animals in history. Another objective of the course is to study the uses of animals, not only for food and work, but also for entertainment. The course will consist of lectures, discussions, group-work, film viewings, and a few field trips.

Lecturer: Dr. Monika Baar completed her undergraduate studies in History, Literature and Linguistics At Eötyös Lorànd University (ELTE) in Budapest and received her MA degrees in History from the Central European University, Budapest and from the School of Slavonic and East European Studies, London. She was awarded her doctorate in Modern History by the University of Oxford.

Monika Baar


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