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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of History, Classics and Archaeology : History

Undergraduate Course: Animals and Humans, c. 1300- c. 1800 (HIST10367)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of History, Classics and Archaeology CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThe blossoming sub-discipline of the history of animals is attracting exciting research and this course will allow students to analyse fresh materials and participate in debates at the cutting edge of this field.

This course will examine the emergent area of human-animal relations in late medieval and early modern Europe. The seminars will be structured around themes and will explore theories of animal history, rights, and human-animal boundaries, as well as methodological approaches to the study of the human-animal past. Practices of human-animal relations will be analysed, such as the exploitation of animals as workers, raw materials, and meat; hunting; racing; breeding; animals as companions; and exotic display animals as markers of status or as gifts. The course will also study representation of animals in late medieval and early modern European culture.

A range of primary and secondary historical sources will be employed, as well as contributions from other fields including archaeology, literary studies, art history, and the biological sciences.

The course will identify some of the possibilities and problems of looking into the history of human-animal relations. It will encourage students to consider how human-animal relations have shaped human history in the periods studied, and to see human history from new vantage points. It will ask what changing ideas about animals tell us about wider historical shifts and what study of human-animal relations in the past can reveal about our relationship with the natural world today.

Course description 1. Introduction: Why Study the History of Human-Animal Relations?
2. Bestiaries and Classification
3. Animals as Labour Force and Transport
4. Meat and Body Parts
5. Kill or Be Killed: Hunting and Wild Animals
6. Representing Animals: Symbols, Visual Depictions and Literature
7. Represented by Animals: Living Heraldry and Animal Embassy
8. Companions, Pets, and Familiars
9. Science and Ethics
10. Anthropomorphism and Human-Animal Boundaries
11. Conclusion and Revision
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements A pass or passes in 40 credits of first level historical courses or equivalent and a pass or passes in 40 credits of second level historical courses or equivalent.
Before enrolling students on this course, Personal Tutors are asked to contact the History Honours Admission Secretary to ensure that a place is available (Tel: 503783).
Additional Costs 0
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesStandard VS pre-requisites for this level in this Subject Area
Course Delivery Information
Not being delivered
Learning Outcomes
Upon completion of this course students will be required to demonstrate, by means of essay, exam and class participation, the following learning outcomes:

- the capacity to develop and maintain critical argument in written work and seminar contributions;

- the ability to engage critically with primary sources, including works of art, material culture and literature, and with secondary material, recognising the challenges faced by historians when investigating the past, and particularly a relationship in which one party does not have a voice;

- recognition of the main historical issues surrounding the history of human-animal relations in the late medieval and early modern periods;

- an understanding of theoretical debates in the field of human-animal relations;

- a sense of historical perspective in relation to the categories, and boundaries, of human and animal;

- identification and evaluation of past and present attitudes to human-animal relations;

- a critical awareness of the diversity in human-animal relations in the medieval and early modern periods, as well as any shifts in attitude toward the relationship of humans and animals across time.
Reading List
Burt, Jonathan, ed., Animal series (London: Reaktion, 2003 - )

Creager, Angela and William Chester Jordan, eds., The Animal/Human Boundary: Historical Perspectives (Rochester: University of Rochester, 2002)

Fudge, Erica, At the Borders of the Human: Beasts, Bodies, and Natural Philosophy in the Early Modern Period (Basingstoke: Palgrave, 1999)

Fudge, Erica, Animal (London: Reaktion, 2004)

Kalof, Linda, Looking at Animals in Human History (London: Reaktion Books, 2007)

Kalof, Linda and Brigitte Resl, eds, A Cultural History of Animals, 6 vols, (Oxford: Berg, 2007)

Kalof, Linda and Amy Fitzgerald, eds, The Animals

Reader: the Essential Classic and Contemporary Writings (Oxford: Berg, 2007)

Manning, Aubrey and James Serpell, eds, Animals and Human Society: Changing Perspectives (London: Routledge, 1994)

Pluskowski, Aleksander, ed., Breaking and Shaping Beastly Bodies: Animals as Material Culture in the Middle Ages (Oxford: Oxbow Books 2007)
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Development of a range of transferable skills including:

- management of time and workload;
- the capacity to work independently on a research topic as well as participating in pair and group work;
- the ability to express ideas clearly and effectively, both in oral and written argument;
- the ability to produce work that is properly formatted and referenced;
- an appreciation of, and respect for, different opinions.
This course is also intended to meet the general aims and objectives of Honours courses as outlined in the ┐History Honours Handbook┐ Appendix A
Course organiserDr Sarah Cockram
Course secretaryMiss Clare Guymer
Tel: (0131 6)50 4030
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