ENGL243-24S2 (C) Semester Two 2024

Animals on Screen

15 points

Start Date: Monday, 15 July 2024
End Date: Sunday, 10 November 2024
Withdrawal Dates
Last Day to withdraw from this course:
  • Without financial penalty (full fee refund): Sunday, 28 July 2024
  • Without academic penalty (including no fee refund): Sunday, 29 September 2024


This course explores cinematic representations of insects, mammals, fish, birds and reptiles, with an emphasis on their special place in horror and science fiction genres. Students will also be introduced to Human-Animal Studies as a field of scholarship.

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
    • University Graduate Attributes

      This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:

      Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award

      Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.

      Employable, innovative and enterprising

      Students will develop key skills and attributes sought by employers that can be used in a range of applications.

      Globally aware

      Students will comprehend the influence of global conditions on their discipline and will be competent in engaging with global and multi-cultural contexts.


Any 15 points at 100 level from CULT or ENGL, or
any 60 points at 100 level from the Schedule V of the BA.


AMST236, CULT206, GEND213, AMST331, GEND311, and ENGL349

Equivalent Courses

Timetable 2024

Students must attend one activity from each section.

Lecture A
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Monday 11:00 - 12:00 E14 Lecture Theatre
15 Jul - 25 Aug
9 Sep - 20 Oct
Lecture B
Activity Day Time Location Weeks
01 Thursday 10:00 - 12:00 A5 Lecture Theatre
15 Jul - 25 Aug
9 Sep - 20 Oct

Course Coordinator

Annie Potts


Assessment Due Date Percentage 
Essay 45%
Take-home test 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 $844.00

International fee $3,950.00

* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, 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 .

All ENGL243 Occurrences

  • ENGL243-24S2 (C) Semester Two 2024