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connect   connect  

"Only connect!  That was the whole of her sermon. Only connect  the prose and the passion, and both will be exalted, and human love will be seen at its height. Live in fragments no longer."  E. M. Forster, Howards End (1910), ch. 22


Unique Number: #35480

Course Web Site:

Goals: A primary goal of this course is that students will "graduate with the flexible skills they need to be leaders in our communities." Those skills include ethics, critical thinking, independent inquiry, time management, digital literacy (multimedia and web skills), information literacy, and print literacy. In other words, to prepare students for their college and later careers we will practice college-level writing, speaking, listening, discussing, and analyzing ideas.

More specific goals of this course are to meet the requirements for writing flag courses, ethics/leadership courses, and the comparative/interdisciplinary course requirement for the English major.

For a detailed description of these and related goals consult


Overview: We will begin our exploration of the intersections of literary and animal studies with the basic connections between indigenous people, children, feelings, and animals. We will then  focus on the tensions between domination of animals and compassion for them in world history, especially as they relate to gender, race,  the climate crisis, and sustainability.  We will make our ultimate ethical goal to "widen the circle of compassion," as Einstein put it, not only to all kinds of people but also other species. Analogies between factory farming, slavery, and Nazi concentration camps made by various writers and philosophers, and especially by the shocking documentary Earthlings, will challenge us to become more mindful of ethical decisions we make daily about food, clothing, entertainment, and nonmedical animal research on this campus. Whatever we decide, the goal is to become aware of the importance of ethics in daily life.



Formal Writing. 


 Formal writing will be two essays. Each will be a minimum of four pages and be revised in response to peer critiques before the instructor's grading and critique. You cannot pass the course without satisfactory essays. Some of the projects will require discovery learning. For these assignments especially, students should be prepared to think for themselves. Discovery learning means that there will be fewer instructions about the content of projects than what students may be used to from other courses. This can be frustrating for some, especially those who want a detailed formula that will guarantee them a good grade. Instead, students will be encouraged to be creative and write about what is most important to them. However, all students will be expected to follow very detailed instructions about the form and format of the essay.


Informal Writing.

Students can write informal blogs about the readings in preparation for class discussion. Blog instructions here.


Daily Quizzes.

Quizzes on the assigned readings for that day are worth up to thirty points. -20 if you get none right. -10 if you get one right. However, if you have a valid blog posted before the deadline you will only get -10 if you have none right, -5 if one right.


Class Discussion and Emotional Literacy

One way to practice the emotional literacy required for our approach to ethics is to briefly identify emotions felt in the previous week in a session known as "Best and Worst."  You can earn points and prepare for these weekly sessions by doing a weekly blog in the "Best and Worst" discussion. One points for each feeling word used up to six points per week.




1-17: Introduction,  1-19 Emotive Ethics; 1-24 ; Compassion and the Sympathetic Imagination 1-26: Power Animals and Native American Literature. 1-31 Project 1 and Power Animals;2-2 P1 due forl  2-9 Totem Animals, Dobie, Longhorns, Mustangs; 2-7 overview: the history of compassion in the East; < 2-16   + 2-18 Earthlings compassion test;  2-23 P1 due    2-25   + 3-1 Coetzee; 3-3 Holocaust Analogy 3-8 Sadism;  3-10, Carnism 3-22 Sacred Cattle 3-24 Mutiny of 1857 3-29, P2 due for critiques 3-31 Sustainability 4- Speciesism and Racism 4-7  Speciesism and Sexism4-12, Fowler 4-14, Fowler;  4-19   Fowler  4-21 Research Animals 4-26 Research Animals 4-28 Research Animals< 5-3 Paradise Regained< 5-5 awards, evaluation, etc. 5-16 Final Exam Date



Required Texts

Required Texts : Students must bring to class on the days they are due the following physical texts: [1] the course anthology*; and [2] Karen Fowler's We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves [Putnam: Marian Wood; 2013: 9780399162091

*FOR THE FIRST ASSIGNMENT, students will need the course anthology, which is a collection of xeroxed materials. It will be available from Jenn's, 2518 Guadalupe (Between Fuzzy's Tacos and Madam Mam's). It will cost about $75. Jenn's takes major credit cards, of course. (If you don't get there within the first few days you might want to call ahead to make sure they have a copy reserved for you: 512-473-8669).



Digital Literacy

Because the "Five Characteristics of a Successful Student at U.T." include "Good computer skills" as well as "Strong writing skills," essays and blogs will require digital literacy (multimedia) as well as print literacy. Students will also be expected to check their email frequently (maintaining the correct email address in the U.T. Direct system) along with the course Blogs and the Gradebook, especially the day before class. We will have an optional  closed group in Facebook "to help students develop a small community within the larger whole" (CRUE).




About 50% of the final grade will be determined by multimedia web projects (250 points each), 36% by informal writing such as blogs (360 points); and at least 14% by class discussion, leadership, and attendance (140 points). To pass the course students must demonstrate college-level writing and complete all basic requirements of both projects. Grades for projects especially will be based in part on meeting the two expectations employers have of college graduates: time management, and the ability to read, analyze, and follow complex, detailed directions. 1200 points (out of 1,300 or more) are required for an A+ (unofficial grade); 1050-1100 for an A; 1000-1049 for an A-; 965 for a B+; 945 for a B; 900 for a B-; 865 for a C+; 845 for a C; 800 for a C-; 765 for a D+; 735 for a D; and 700 for a D-. At the end of the course, students will receive exactly the grade recorded in the online gradebook, even if it is one point short of the next higher grade. 

Daily class participation grades: up to nine points per class, sometimes more if you demonstrate good listening, sometimes less if you don't. Class discussion rules: students who talk to others while the speaker is talking and/or encourage this rude behavior with a willing ear, will have fifteen points deducted from their class participation/attendance grade for each incident. Egregious behavior such as sleeping in class, reading materials other than ours, using your cell phone, iPod, or computer during class, acting out, disrupting class, etc. will be subject to a thirty-point penalty for each incident. Students who insult, threaten, or harass others will have fifty points deducted from their grade for each incident, and be referred to the Dean of Students. For policy on cell phones etc. in class see the Class Participation and Class Discussion document: SL.html

Being on time: Students prepare for class discussion by being on time.  There will be heavier penalties for being late than for being absent. Why? Basically, because being absent does not disrupt the class and coming in late does, especially if we are watching Earthlings, meditating, doing experiential learning or ......

There are in fact three important reasons for penalizing lateness in this way: [1] To prepare you for the real world. Employers will not tolerate this kind of behavior. [2] To be courteous and respectful of your colleagues, not interrupting the class to make your tardy entrance. [3] To avoid "enabling," to encourage repeat offenders to learn the lessons they need to learn.

The ultimate reasons are found in the essay by Dr. Carl Pickhardt on the website. The key sentences in that document for a teacher are: "Maintain adult demands and expect young people to meet them. Accept no excuses, make no exceptions, and attempt no rescues. Listen respectfully and empathetically and do not criticize the young person for not measuring up to what college expected. Encourage learning more responsibility from facing consequences of how one chose to act. And support the courage to keep growing forward in life."

Hence, there will be no attendance or class participation credit for the first late appearance, -5 points for the second, double the penalty for the third, triple for the fourth, etc.  If anyone chooses to open the door for someone who comes late for the third time or more, they will receive the same penalties as the one who arrives late: no attendance or class participation credit for the first disruption, -5 points for the second, -10 for the third, -20 for the fourth, etc.



About the Professor:

 Jerome Bump has been awarded a number of research fellowships and the Jeanne Holloway Award and the Liberal Arts Council Award for undergraduate teaching, the Chad Oliver award for Plan II teaching. He was an editor of Texas Studies in Language and Literature and has written Gerard Manley Hopkins and sixty articles and chapters.

A recent publication is ""Biophilia and Emotive Ethics: Derrida, Alice, and Animals ." Ethics and the Environment 19.2 (2014): 59-91.  A recent conference paper is "The Ultimate Boundary: Food Animals?" The Human Animal Boundary Symposium, University of Puerto Rico-Mayagüez, 11 April 2015.

His current project is Alice the Conqueror, about the representation of animals in the Alice books. For more information about him, his publications, his teaching philosophy, or his courses see /bump/




Privacy. (FERPA): students will be asked to give written permission to share certain documents with class members.

Honor Code. The core values of The University of Texas at Austin are learning, discovery, freedom, leadership, individual opportunity, and responsibility. Each member of the university is expected to uphold these values through integrity, honesty, trust, fairness, and respect toward peers and community. Our training in practical ethics will include evaluation of student behavior in the course, especially actions that hurt other students' educational opportunities, including interrupting class by coming late or not completing peer critiques.

Academic Integrity: Our training in practical ethics also means that any work, any paragraph, any sentence submitted by a student in this course for academic credit must be the student's own work, unless the source is explicitly acknowledged. Plagiarism will be punished severely (See "Paraphrasing vs. Plagiarism" in the course anthology). For additional information on academic Integrity, see

Disabilities: The University of Texas at Austin provides upon request appropriate academic accommodations for qualified students with disabilities. For more information, contact Services for Students with Disabilities at 471-6259 (voice) or 232-2937 (video phone) or

Religious Holy Days: By UT Austin policy, you must notify the instructor of your pending absence at least fourteen days prior to the date of observance of a religious holy day. If you must miss a class, an examination, a work assignment, or a project in order to observe a religious holy day, you will be given an opportunity to complete the missed work within a reasonable time after the absence.

The following recommendations regarding emergency evacuation are from the Office of Campus Safety and Security, 512-471-5767, :

- Occupants of buildings on The University of Texas at Austin campus are required to evacuate buildings when a fire alarm is activated. Alarm activation or announcement requires
exiting and assembling outside.

- Familiarize yourself with all exit doors of each classroom and building you may occupy. Remember that the nearest exit door may not be the one you used when entering the building.

- Students requiring assistance in evacuation shall inform their instructor in writing during the first week of class.

- In the event of an evacuation, follow the instruction of faculty or class instructors.

- Do not re-enter a building unless given instructions by the following: Austin Fire Department, The University of Texas at Austin Police Department, or Fire Prevention Services office.

- Behavior Concerns Advice Line (BCAL): 512-232-5050- Link to information regarding emergency evacuation routes and emergency procedures can be found at:



"The University Writing Center is located in the PCL Learning Commons and offers free, individualized, expert writing help for any UT undergraduate by appointment or on a walk-in basis. Your Course Specialist Consultant (CSC) is a special kind of UWC consultant who is dedicated to helping you and your classmates with writing in this particular course. Your CSC will attend this class with you and meet regularly with me to discuss our writing assignments. And as the semester goes on, they will become familiar with the course's content (though they are not and will not become content experts), your writing projects, and my expectations for writing. As students in this course, you and your peers have priority over other UT undergraduates when scheduling consultations with your CSC in the UWC. To schedule a consultation with your CSC, register for a UWC account at, then call or stop by the UWC Front Desk (512-471-6222) OR email your CSC directly so they can schedule on your behalf.



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