Once again, I hope you’ll write on topics of your own. To get you started, here are are some prompts:
— This semester we have encountered a great variety of genres: poems by Whitman and Dickinson, naturalist novels by Norris and Sinclair, Native American myths by Erdrich, science fiction by Dick, LeGuin, and Butler, not to mention the unclassifiable Moby-Dick. How do the conventions of these genres shape our perceptions of the nonhuman?
— The “nonhuman” opens out into a web of interlocking terms: the subhuman, the superhuman, the almost-human, the posthuman, and so on. Choose two of these and show how they are reciprocally constituted.
— The “nonhuman” quite often comes to us not as straightforward description, but by way of metaphors. Analyze some of these, and the way this layer of mediation complicates our understanding.