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Animals in Literature

The American author and naturalist Henry Beston once wrote that animals "are not brethren, they are not underlings: they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth”. Animals of all kinds appear in writings from across the ages and around the globe--from the lions and whales in the Hebrew Bible through Arthur Conan Doyle's Hound of the Baskervilles, to Franz Kafka's human-turned insect or J. L. Borges' fantastic taxonomy of creatures. In this series members of the School of English will deliver a programme of talks discussing some of the most influential works of literature which feature animals. Why do authors choose to write about particular animals? How do these animals help create meaning in these works? Are writers able to imagine animals without humanising them? These are just some of the many fascinating questions the lectures will explore.

Course Director

Professor Ema Vyroubalová

How to apply

Apply to: Ms Sophia Ní Sheoin, Centre Executive Officer, Oscar Wilde Centre for Irish Writing, School of English, 21 Westland Row, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin, Dublin 2, Ireland. Phone: 01-8962885 email: Application forms will be available for download from end of September 2016 from the Oscar Wilde website:


€50 for the entire series. Individual lectures are €6 each. A special group rate of €5 per lecture will be available to parties of 20 or more attending any one lecture. Concessionary rates for the full series will be €35 or individual lecture €5 each. Concessionary rates apply to: students, OAPs, unemployed, groups of 20+. Teachers bringing groups of students receive a free Teacher Pass. Cheques/Bank Drafts/Postal Orders should be made payable to TCD No. 1 Account. It is possible to pay on the door on the night, however only those who have pre-booked can be guaranteed admission.

Date, time and place

There will be 10 weekly lectures beginning on Tuesday evenings at 7 pm, from 24th January 2017 in the Robert Emmet Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin, the University of Dublin, Dublin 2.