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Crash Course

Animals

student holding cat

ENGL 1301

It’s human nature to feel a connection to other living things, particularly animals. From prehistoric cave drawings in France to novels such as Moby Dick, animals have provided creative inspiration through the generations. English Professor Tim Morris asks students in Animals, his first-year Honors College class, to read a variety of works, from J.R. Ackerley’s loving tribute to his pet German shepherd in My Dog Tulip to biologist Victoria Braithwaite’s exploration of fish behavior, Do Fish Feel Pain? “This is a good topic because the students don’t need a lot of experience or preparation,” Dr. Morris says. “It’s an interdisciplinary course and they’re reading writings from different fields, but all they have to write about in their first paper is an animal and start from there.” For freshman Baylee Fojtik, right, her pet cat is the perfect muse. Other students have selected squirrels, bats, ladybugs, cockroaches, even dinosaurs. “The idea is to notice things that perhaps have not been noticed in the published literature and also to cite some of the sources about the use of that animal,” Morris says. “For example, how horses have been depicted in art.”

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