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Evening Lecture Series 2017: 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 
Dr Ema Vyroubalova

Date: There will be ten weekly lectures beginning on Tuesday, 24 January 2017
Time: All lectures start at 7 pm
Venue: All lectures take place in the Robert Emmet Theatre, Arts Building, Trinity College Dublin

24 Jan. 2017               Introduction:  Literary Animals by Ema Vyroubalova (Lecture Notes Link)

31 Jan. 2017               Animals in First World War Literature by Rosie Lavan (Lecture Notes Link)

07 Feb. 2017               Animals and Ethics in Kafka and Beckett by Julie Bates (Lecture Notes Link)

14 Feb. 2017               Pretty Little Cages: Songbirds and Freedom from Chaucer to Skelton by Brendan O’Connell (Lecture Notes Link)

21 Feb. 2017               Animals and Birds in the Old English Riddles by Alice Jorgensen (Lecture Notes Link)

28 Feb. 2017               A Fearful Symmetry: Tigers and Other Animals in Children's Literature by Jane Carroll (Lecture Notes Link)

07 Mar. 2017              'They Have Risen Once -- They May Rise Again': Animal Uprisings in Horror Fiction  and Film by Bernice Murphy (Lecture Notes Link)

14 Mar. 2017              The Universal Cannibalism of the Sea: Moby-Dick by Stephen Matterson

21 Mar. 2017              Animal Voices in Contemporary American Fiction: George Saunders' Fox 8 and Paul  Auster's Timbuktu by Philip Coleman

28 Mar. 2017              'Wild Things': Creatures in My Poetry by Gerald Dawe

€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.

How to Apply

Online Application:
Please apply and pay online using this link to Eventbrite: Eventbrite Link

Pay at the Door:
It is possible to pay on the door at the night, however only those who have pre-booked can be guaranteed admission.

Postal Application:
Return this application form with the fee to: English Literature Evening Lectures, Oscar Wilde Centre School of English, Trinity College Dublin the University of Dublin, 21 Westland Row Dublin 2. Cheques/Bank Drafts/Postal Orders should be made payable to TCD No. 1 Account. Please click the following link for the application form: Application Form (PDF) Application Form (Word Doc).

Contact Details:

Ms Sophia Ni Sheoin
Centre Executive Officer
Oscar Wilde Centre for Irish Writing
School of English
Trinity College Dublin
21 Westland Row
Dublin 2
Telephone: 353-1-8962885