ENGL349-18S1 (C) Semester One 2018

From Bambi to Kong: The Animal in Popular Culture

30 points

Start Date: Monday, 19 February 2018
End Date: Sunday, 24 June 2018
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Friday, 2 March 2018
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Friday, 18 May 2018


This course provides an introduction to human-animal studies through an analysis of cinematic representations of animals and the environment across horror and science fiction genres, animation, comedy and documentary.

This course provides an introduction to Human-Animal Studies as a field of scholarship. Students learn how to critically engage with popular cultural representations of animals and nature. Topics include the depiction of human-animal relationships in cinema and television (in particular, horror and science fiction genres); the environmental movement and marine mammals; dinosaur iconography; primatology in popular culture; cultural practices such as pet-keeping, dog-breeding and factory farming.

This course can be used towards an English major or minor. BA students who major in English would normally take at least two 100-level 15 point ENGL courses (which must include at least one of the following: ENGL117, ENGL102 or ENGL103), at least three 200-level 15 point ENGL courses, and at least two 300-level 30 point ENGL courses. This course is also co-coded CULT206 and can be used towards a Cultural Studies major or minor. Please see the BA regulations  or a student advisor for more information.

Learning Outcomes

  • In this course you will learn:
  • to trace the influence of competing ideas and narratives about nature and animals, and the human relationship with nature and animals, in a range of past and contemporary popular cultural genres, with a special focus on horror and science fiction, as well as documentaries;
  • to analyze the ways in which popular representations of the ‘natural’, the ‘animal’ and the ‘human’ shift in relation to specific historical periods, cultural and economic events; are constructed in particularly gendered and racialized ways (and in opposition to ideas about ‘culture’); and are variously represented in political discourses (e.g. conservationist, preservationist, animal rights, feminist etc);
  • to survey the impact upon popular cultural representations of social movements (e.g. the environmental and animal rights movements) that seek to redefine the relationship between humans and nature, and humans and animals


15 points of ENGL at 200-level with a B pass, or
30 points of ENGL at 200-level, or
any 45 points at 200-level from the Arts Schedule.


ENGL243, AMST236, CULT206, GEND213, AMST331, GEND311

Course Coordinator / Lecturer

Annie Potts


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Essay One 45%
Essay Two 45%
Class attendance 10%

There is no final exam for this course.

Textbooks / Resources

There is no set text for this course. Required readings will be posted on LEARN prior to lectures.  

(Image: "King Kong 1933 Italian Poster". Licensed under public domain.)

Course links

Library portal

Indicative Fees

Domestic fee $1,493.00

International fee $6,075.00

* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.

Minimum enrolments

This course will not be offered if fewer than 20 people apply to enrol.

For further information see Humanities and Creative Arts.

All ENGL349 Occurrences

  • ENGL349-18S1 (C) Semester One 2018