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Depictions of Primates in Fiction Pre- and Post-Origin of Species
Scott Legge, Macalester College
Students are asked to choose two pieces of fiction that depict or describe interactions between humans and non-human primates. The main limiting factor in their choices is that one of the works should be pre-1859 and the other should be post-1859, representing works from before and after Charles Darwin published On The Origin of Species. It is really meant as a starting point for a discussion of historic perceptions of the relationship between humans and the natural world and how those perceptions would have shaped reactions to Darwin's work. The expected learning outcomes include placing the discussion of human's place in nature in historical context and providing the students with a comfortable and interesting starting place for the more theoretically challenging discussions to come.