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The Literary Insect

Subject code


Course Number




M. Wright

Course Long Title

The Literary Insect


All generations of humankind have been keen to describe the habits and habitats of our small, formidable, creeping cousins. What makes bugs so interesting? Why does literature need them? Does our fascination with beetles, bees, and butterflies go beyond the fear and admiration that come from the tremendous differences between our bodies and theirs? This seminar looks at literature in many genres--fables, poems, novels, memoirs, and natural histories--to find out what humans have learned from the literary insect, and to ask further questions about bug life. Participants also venture outside to explore insect habitats nearby.

Modes of Inquiry

Analysis and Critique [AC], Historical and Social Inquiry [HS]

Writing Credit


Class Restriction

Exclude Sophomores, Exclude Juniors, Exclude Seniors