Course Description: Animals in the Media

Animals are everywhere. They inhabit our dreams, our storybooks, and our lives. Thinking about animals in terms of how we use them to represent concepts about ourselves (whether in advertising, literature, film, newspaper stories, or books) has an impact on them and on us. This course exposes students to the importance of the development of empathy in childhood, makes visible those invisible symbolic animals in our everyday lives, and then focuses on re-presentations of specific species in a variety of media formats. The course is an invitation to consider how, if you only know a particular species through the way the media represent them, what do you believe you know? Class time will be spent in lecture, in discussions of assigned readings, and analysis.

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