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Independent Reading Groups

Winter 2012 Series

Personhood and Animality

This reading group will examine shifting understandings of personhood and the human/animal boundary through a discussion of key texts in the rapidly-growing field of Human-Animal Studies (HAS). As described by the Animals and Society Institute, HAS is an “interdisciplinary field that examines the complex and multidimensional relationships between humans and other animals. HAS comprises work in such areas of study as psychology, sociology, anthropology, political science, history, literary criticism and other disciplines in the humanities.” This reading group will offer scholars from diverse fields a relatively rare opportunity to communicate across disciplines—and ideally, even across faculties—thereby enriching the research of all involved. What Jacques Derrida has called “the problem of the animal” is central to human culture and personhood, and it is most effectively addressed in an interdisciplinary manner.

Reading List

emily [dot] essert [at] mail [dot] mcgill [dot] ca (Contact): Emily Essert (English) and Kelly MacPhail (English)
Meetings: Fridays, 9:30-11:30am: 20 January; 3, 17 February; 2, 23 March; 13, 27 April; 4 May
3610 McTavish St., room 21-6