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2024/25 Undergraduate Module Catalogue

ARTF3077 Humanity, Animality and Globality

20 creditsClass Size: 19

Module manager: Dr Diane Morgan

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2024/25

This module is not approved as a discovery module

Module summary

Crucial for thinking what and how “we” are and could become as a “humanity”, is the thinking of “our” difference and similarities with other life forms. This module therefore engages with theories and practices of animality so as to interrogate the category of The Human. A wide range of material- literary and philosophical texts, films, paintings and installation projects- will be considered that reflect how our notion of “species” is subject to ongoing change.


This module aims to interrogate the nature and limits of the human in relation to other life forms, namely ”animals”. This enquiry will lead to essential ethical issues regarding rights (what rights? who has them? how? And when?). By identifying a wide range of “texts” –e.g. literary works, films, philosophical texts, paintings, “natural history” exhibits, TV programmes, zoos, circuses…), this module aims to foster a creative response to the hybridity that is “animality”.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students will have:
Addressed key ethical, ecological and political issues relating to animals;
Considered the status of “the human” as a “species” and in relation to other life forms;
Considered the range of different representations of animals in circulation over time and the varied uses to which they have been put.


Humanity, Animality, Globality
This module interrogates the nature and limits of the human-animal relation as a means of thinking what “we” have “in common”, or not, with other life forms on this “shared” planet” (otherwise known as our “globality”). This topic thereby engages with much contemporary writing within the fields of political and cultural theory, as well as featuring as a major preoccupation of many contemporary artists. Students will be asked to consider the forms a sustainable ecology could assume.

Indicative Week-by-week syllabus

Week 1. Introduction: The Human Animal, its Body and Mind.

Week 2 Human-Animal Relations: Zoos, Circuses, Hunting, Sport.

Week 3 The Animal Other: Animal Portrait Painting and Still Lives /Dead Nature

Week 4 Food for Thought and/or Body: The Art of Butchery.

Week 5 Religion, Sacrifice, Scapegoating, and Transgression.

Week 6 Academic Development Week

Over weeks 7 & 8 & 9 students will be asked (either individually or in small groups) to present one text (whether novel, poem, film, TV series) from the indicative list. The formal write-up of this presentation will form Assignment I.:

Week 7 His Master’s Voice? I: Representations of the “Animal” in Literature.

Week 8 His Master’s Voice? II: Representations of the “Animal” in Fiction Film.

Week 9 His Master’s Voice? III: Representations of the “Animal” in Nature Programmes.

Week 10 Animal Rights?

Week 11 The Human, Posthuman, Transhuman and/or Animality.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours180.00
Total Contact hours20.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)200.00

Private study

On the VLE there will be posted a bank of readings that students will be expected to work through in their own time.

The first assessed assignment is to be based on an unassessed (individual or group) presentation to the class. It will be expected that his write-up assignment reflects a substantial amount of independent research.

The final essay will emerge as a culmination of the semester’s work but here too signs of the student having read over and above the texts set for each seminar’s work will be rewarded.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

The (unassessed) assignment gives the tutor an opportunity to gauge student involvement with the module.

Regular individual tutoring will be on offer in the form of office hours.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
EssayCritical Analysis of a Text - 2, 000-2,500 words40.00
EssayFinal Essay - 3,000 - 3,500 words60.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 29/04/2024 16:10:27


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