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Unit information: Animal Planet: Humans and other animals in modernity in 2021/22

Unit name Animal Planet: Humans and other animals in modernity
Unit code ENGLM0056
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Malay
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of English
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

Animal Studies is an emergent field which embraces insights from across the Arts and Sciences. The study of human relationships with nonhuman animals offers an opportunity to investigate the human place in a more-than-human world. The period from 1800 to the present day has seen important transformations in the way in which humans have interacted with animal life. The rise of zoos and safari parks, alongside the increased inclination to welcome animals into families as pets has resulted in animals occupying parts of the human world which they had not inhabited before. Moreover, the treatment of animals and their habitats as resources, the development of scientific knowledge of animal bodies, the more recent positioning of animals in a seemingly threatened natural world, and ways of representing animals through film and television show that animals can be looked at, understood and treated in an astonishing diversity of ways.

Central Thematic concerns will include: How do the relationships between humans and other animals reflect the human relationship with the rest of the natural world? What do changing ideas about animals, and changing relationships with animals, reveal about larger historical transformations? What can we tell about the nature of power and domination from the study of human-animal relationships? How can animals impact upon the ‘human’ world? Why is it important to understand the contradictions inherent in our relationships with animals?

Intended Learning Outcomes

1. A broadened experience of the range and variety of perspectives on the relations between non-human and human animals

2. Improved independent critical thinking about how animals and human beings interact.

3. A maturing ability to apply critical, historical, geographical and cultural contexts to the field of animal studies.

4. Developing an appropriate style of critical writing for the discussion and analysis of how human and animals relate to each other.

5. Improving existing skills through independent reading, research and writing on specific texts and topics.

Teaching Information

Teaching will be delivered through a combination of synchronous and asynchronous activities. These can include seminars, lectures, class discussion, formative tasks, small group work, and self-directed exercises.

Assessment Information

1 x 4000 word summative assignment (100%) [ILOs 1-5]


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How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.