Humans use animals in a variety of ways: for food, clothing, transportation, biomedical experimentation, entertainment, companionship, and ritualistic purposes. We also use animals “to think” with. That is, we use our interpretations of animal bodies and lives to define what it means to be human, and to assert who we are not by distinguishing ourselves from non-humans. In this course we will think critically about our interactions with animals, from talking a walk with the family dog to observing an elephant at the zoo, or from encountering chicken on a dinner plate to arguments for and against using non-human animals in biomedical experimentation. Throughout the term we will engage critically with representations of, and enter into arguments about, animals as products and producers, mysterious and knowable, members of groups (or packs, or herds) and individuals, and philosophical and ethical subjects. We will examine the shifting borders between “human” and “animal,” and will discuss what it means to think with animals in an effort to encounter animals on their own terms. This is first and foremost a writing course, and you will have ample opportunity to practice and refine your writing throughout the semester. We will approach writing as a process, and see writing projects through from the initial brainstorming stage to the final draft, with all the necessary steps in between. We will also explore a variety of strategies for reading and analyzing texts, and developing arguments of intellectual depth that can be used throughout your academic careers, and beyond. More specifically, you will develop your skill at close reading, articulating responses to the arguments presented in published scholarly writing, and research. You will also receive instruction in writing mechanics and style, and produce substantive revisions of each major paper. We will form a community of curious and committed readers and writers who will hone our reading and writing skills, practice the art of giving constructive feedback in peer workshops, and above all, refine our thinking and improve our writing. At the end of the academic term, each of you will be prepared to complete a variety of writing tasks with skill and confidence.