English 379 – Representing Nonhumans

I took English 379 to satisfy the Global Leadership/Aesthetic Perspective of the Civitae Core Curriculum. The course was taught by Dr. Thomas Nez. In this class we explored the differences between human and nonhuman and how you can be both simultaneously. To explore this topic we analyzed the text Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? which explores the differences between human and nonhuman through the use of social contradictions. Another topic that we explored was the uncanny which is an idea created by Sigmund Freud. To explore this topic we analyzed House of Leaves to not only see how the uncanny can affect characters within the novel but also affect the reader of the text. One of the most valuable skills that I learned in this class was how to take a text and see the bigger picture.

Personally I have always loved to read fantasy and science-fiction so I thoroughly enjoyed the content that this class had to offer.

In this course we wrote three papers, the artifact above is my favorite one from this class. This paper explores the uncanny and how it affects the characters and the reader. One of the things that Dr. Nez encourages in his class is to not outline your paper before starting. In the past for me I have always outlined my papers and struggled to write them. This past semester I figured I would give his idea of drafting a try which lead me to being very successful in his class. Along with that Dr. Nez had a very different timeline for deadlines than what you would see in a traditional English class. Once we would produce a draft of out work we would individually meet with him and discuss it. After that you could continue to edit and revise your paper up to the end of the semester. This really helped take some of the stress associated with writing papers away and allow me to focus more on what I actually wanted to write.