[MARMAM] In Pursuit of the Whale - Undergraduate/Graduate-Level Cetological Literature Course

BMSC University Programs university at mail.bamfieldmsc.com
Wed Feb 24 13:43:34 PST 2016

Hi there,

The Bamfield Marine Sciences Centre (located in Bamfield, British Columbia and owned by the Universities of Victoria, British Columbia, Alberta, Calgary, and Simon Fraser University) is proud to offer its first English Literature field course!

This course will be taught by Dr. Greg Garrard (UBC Okanagan) and Dr. Nicholas Bradley (UVIC). Scholarships are available to those who apply by March 1, 2016.

Please find a course poster, poposed syllabus, and information on how to apply attached. Additional information can be found below or at www.bamfieldmsc.com and questions can be directed to university at bamfieldmsc.com 

Please feel free to forward this message and its attachments to anyone who might be interested in this course.

Nic Wiewel


Who can apply? Upper-level undergraduates (300-400 level) and graduate students may take this course for credit.

Prerequisites: For undergraduates: completion of three upper-level English courses, or by application. For graduate students: acceptance to a MA or PhD program in the humanities, or by application.

Application Deadline: March 1, 2016. Students who apply before the deadline are automatically considered for $500 scholarships.

Course Dates: Jul 4, 2016								- 								Jul 22, 2016

Overview: The course will involve close study of literature and films relating to whales and whaling, employing theoretical concepts from ecocriticism (environmentally-oriented cultural criticism) and critical animal studies. Making good use of the proximity of wild cetaceans, historic whaling sites, and the contemporary cultural industry of whale-watching, the course will combine place-based experiential learning with historically and theoretically informed methods of cultural analysis. Key questions will include: How and why have attitudes and interactions of humans and whales changed in modern history? What have whales come to mean in contemporary cultures (predominantly, but not solely, Canadian)? What role have literary and filmic representations played in these cultural transformations? How have literary writers responded to changing scientific ideas about cetaceans? And finally: where might the entangled ‘naturecultures’ of cetaceans and human primates go next? The disciplines of English literature, cultural theory, and environmental ethics; the findings of marine biologists; the recorded experiences of Western whalers; and the traditional knowledge and practices of indigenous peoples will be brought to bear on these questions. Herman Melville’s great cetological epic will be a key text and point of departure. The course can be taken at either 400 or graduate level, with differentiated tutoring and assessments.

Physical Requirements: This course will involve getting in and out of boats, hikes through the rainforest, and walking over slippery rocks in the intertidal region of the coast. 
 Textbooks: Herman Melville, ‘Moby Dick’. Philip Hoare, ‘Leviathan’. Farley Mowat, ‘A Whale for the Killing’. Linda Hogan, ‘People of the Whale’. Witi Ihimaera, ’The Whale Rider’. Charlotte Coté, ’Spirits of our Whaling Ancestors’. It is essential that participants complete the majority of the reading for the course in advance.

Nicole Gerbrandt and Nic Wiewel

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