On the Nature of Gender, More Human Than Human
In early 2017, animal rights lawyer Steve Wise argued that two of his clients should be afforded the rights of "personhood." The clients in question were chimpanzees. This case suggests that "speciesism" might soon be met with the same degree of suspicion as sexism and racism. This course will explore how such a shift could come about and what it might signal. We will begin by examining the western foundations of binaries such as human-animal, male-female, and self-other. From here we will explore recent attempts to dismantle these constructs by ecofeminists and post-humanists. We will also look at how such categories have manifested in social movements and cultural artifacts. Finally, we will investigate how our beliefs about who "we" are and what "we" are not can affect everything from the foods we eat to where and how we vacation. Undergraduates require approval.
This course fulfills Arts & Humanities Approaches to Environmental Inquiry or Social Science Approaches to Environmental Inquiry elective.