English 433/ English 833
The Nonhuman in Literature and Culture
Prof. Wai Chee Dimock
Office Hours: Tuesday, 2:15-4:00 p.m.
Office: LC 417
Nonhuman life forms in fiction and poetry from the nineteenth century to the twenty-first, including plants and animals, “legal persons” such as industries and corporations, large-scale phenomena such as the market and the Internet, war and environmental catastrophes, as well as intelligent machines and extraterrestrial aliens.
Herman Melville, Moby-Dick (Norton)
Emily Dickinson, Final Harvest
Upton Sinclair, The Jungle
Elizabeth Bishop, Collected Poems
Louise Erdrich, Original Fire
Cormac McCarthy, The Crossing
Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Ursula Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness
Octavia Butler, Dawn
Paolo Bacigalupi, The Windup Girl
Richard Powers, Galatea 2.2
Dave Eggers, The Circle
Jan 20 INTRODUCTION
Jane Bennett, “Systems and Things: On Vital Materialism and Object-Oriented Philosophy,” in The Nonhuman Turn, ed. Richard Grusin, 223-40.
Timothy Morton, Hyperobjects: Philosophy and Ecology after the end of the World (2013), 1-54.
Jan 27 Melville, Moby-Dick (1851)
Jacques Derrida, The Animal that Therefore I Am (2008), 3-23
Brian Massumi, “The Supernormal Animal,” in The Nonhuman Turn (2015), 1-18
Feb 3 Emily Dickinson, Final Harvest
Bruno Latour, “A Collective of Humans and Nonhumans,” in Pandora’s Hope (1999), 174-215
Jane Bennett, Vibrant Matter (2010), 94-109
Louis Rutledge, “Emily Dickinson’s Arthropods,” American Entomologist (2003): 70-74.
Feb 10 Upton Sinclair, The Jungle (1906)
- P. Thompson, “Time, Work Discipline, and Industrial Capitalism,” Past and Present 39 (1967), 56-97
Feb 17 Elizabeth Bishop, Collected Poems
Kim Fortuny, “Elizabeth Bishop’s ‘Pink Dog’ and other Nonhuman Animals,” Textual Practice (2015): 1099-1116
Feb 24 Louise Erdrich, Original Fire (2003)
Phantom Past, Indigenous Presence: Native Ghosts in North American Culture and History, ed.
Colleen E. Boyd & Coll Thrush (2011), vii-xl
Mar 2 Cormac McCarthy, The Crossing (1994)
Giorgio Agamben, The Open: Man and Animal (2004): 63-70, 75-77
March 9 Philip K. Dick, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? (1968)
Donna Haraway, “A Cyborg Manifesto,” in Simians, Cyborgs, and Women (1991), 149-82
Ursula Heise, “From Extinction to Electronics: Dead Frogs, Live Dinosaurs, and Electric Sheep,” in Zoontologies, ed. Cary Wolfe (2003), 59-82.
March 30 Ursula Le Guin, The Left Hand of Darkness (1969)
Judith Butler, Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity(1990), 1-34.
John Plotz, “The Story’s Where I Go: Interview with Ursula K. Le Guin,” Public Books (2015)
April 6 Octavia Butler, Dawn (1987)
Itasha Womack, Afrofuturism: The World of Black Sci-fi and Fantasy Culture (2013)
Chimera’s Children: Ethical, Philosophical and Religious Perspectives on Human-Nonhuman Experimentation, ed. Calum MacKellar and David Albert Jones (2012), 105-132.
April 13 Paolo Bacigalupi, The Windup Girl (2009)
Arjun Apparadurai, “Gastro-Politics in South Asia,” American Ethnologist (1981): 494-511
Jane Bennett, “Edible Matter,” in Vibrant Matter, 39-51
April 20 Richard Powers, Galatea 2.2 (1995)
Gilles Deleuze and Felix Guattari, “Becoming Music” in A Thousand Plateaus
Katherine Hayles, How We Became Posthuman (1999), 1-24, 261-72.
April 27 Dave Eggers, The Circle (2013)
Wendy Chun, “Crisis, Crisis, Crisis: or, The Temporality of Networks,” The Nonhuman Turn,
* Class presentation, 5-10 minutes (please email the outline to Prof. Dimock the night before)
* Short essay, 5 pp
(Due: Feb. 17)
* Long essay, 12-18 pp
(Outline due: April 6. Paper due: April 27)
* Students taking the seminar to fulfill a pre-1900 requirement must write the long essay on pre-1900 authors.
* Discussion forum on digital platform: http://amlitintheworld.yale.edu/