After Coetzee Teaching Tools

(Critical) animal studies
Sympathetic imagination
Genre and experiment

Recommended Classes
English literature
Animal studies
Creative writing
Philosophy and literature
Postcolonial ecocriticism
Ecofeminism and feminist studies

Pbk. ISBN: 978-0-9966245-1-0
e-Pub ISBN: 978-0-9966245-2-7
Release Date: June 19, 2017
Trim Size: 8 x 5.25 

Ancillary Media

  1. Our Hen House interview with the editor of After Coetzee

  2. Book trailer for After Coetzee


Sample Discussion Questions

  1. In what ways is After Coetzee: An Anthology of Animal Fictions influenced by J.M. Coetzee's work?

  2. How does the "sympathetic imagination" relate to empathy? Does the anthology inspire empathy, and is empathy a worthy goal for literature? 

  3. Select a few favorite pieces from After Coetzee to analyze.

    1. What draws you to them? 

    2. What are a few similarities in their literary devices, such as themes, imagery, mood, setting, or point of view? How do those similarities, that carry-through from one piece to another, underscore the aims of the anthology?

    3. How are differences between these pieces just as important?

  4. What are specific instances in which the anthology challenges anthropocentrism and speciesism? 

  5. How would you now define "animality" and "humanity," having read After Coetzee? Do you find the task difficult, and if so, why?

  6. What is the significance of the body in several pieces from the anthology? How is embodiment important to challenging problematic ways of thinking about and relating to other animals?

  7. How has After Coetzee changed or confirmed your own beliefs about humans and nonhuman animals? 

  8. In the anthology, how are racism, heteronormative sexism, and economic injustice shown to interrelate with oppression of nonhuman animals?

  9. What is the importance of pronoun usage in several of the anthology's selections? Should we use gendered or gender-neutral pronouns when we refer to other animals? 

  10. Scholars in the feminist care tradition stress the importance for animal ethics of love. Other scholars argue that love isn't a necessary component of an animal ethics.

    1. Does a sense of love and care guide your treatment of other animals? 

    2. In what ways does or doesn't After Coetzee support your view?

  11. What do readings in After Coetzee convey about causes of violence against other animals? 

  12. What forms of conceptual and physical captivity of other animals show up in After Coetzee? What is the importance of naming and categorization throughout its pieces? 

  13. In what ways might the words, "See me," from "Truth Be Told," speak to the anthology's themes? Relatedly, in what ways does After Coetzee represent the drive to see, to know, as destructive? 

  14. How do the legacies of colonialism and modern statehood create peril for humans and nonhumans in "Our Fathers, Which Aren't in Heaven," "Galaxies Beyond Violet," and "Procyon Lotor"? Think of borders, conquest, protectionism, and citizenship.

  15. J.M. Coetzee's character Elizabeth Costello regards poetry as more revelatory than science or philosophy, producing truer or more ethical ideas about animals. Having read After Coetzee, would you agree with Costello? Why or why not?

  16. A few pieces in the anthology, such as "The Sky Above Chairs," create or convey a sense of disorientation and estrangement.

    1. What literary techniques are used in these and other works to produce that sense?

    2. Do these pieces suggest that disorientation and estrangement can give rise to the less destructive, more ethical, ways of knowing that Costello seeks? How so?

  17. Some of the anthology's pieces are straightforward works of realism, while others are experimental or lyrical. Explore your reactions to these approaches. 

    1. Do you prefer one approach to another? 

    2. Does one style or another seem more suited to the anthology's purposes, or do each have benefits and drawbacks?

  18. Didacticism came to be disavowed in modern literature. What has your response to didacticism in After Coetzee been—pleasurable, challenging, or something else?