Philosopher Thomas Nagel asked, “What is it like to be a bat?” Ultimately, he determined the question unanswerable: A bat’s experience of the world is so alien to our own that it is beyond the human understanding of subjective experience. That’s arguable. But it is true at least that a bat’s experience—or that of any other nonhuman consciousness—is not inaccessible to human imagination. In this course we will read and discuss a wide variety of texts, approaching the subject of nonhuman consciousness through literature, philosophy, and science. We will read works that attempt to understand the experiences of apes, panthers, rats, ticks, elephants, octopuses, lobsters, cows, bats, monsters, puppets, computers, and eventually, zombies. Course reading may include Descartes, Kafka, Rilke, Jakob von Uexküll, Patricia Highsmith, John Gardner’s Grendel, J.A. Baker’s The Peregrine, Eduardo Kohn’s How Forests Think, David Foster Wallace, Temple Grandin, Frans de Waal, Jane Goodall, Thomas Nagel, John Searle, Susan Datich, E. O. Wilson, Giorgio Agamben, and Bennett Sims’s A Questionable Shape, among others, in addition to a viewing of 2001: A Space Odyssey, Danny Boyle’s 28 Days Later, and possibly other films. This is also a craft class, as each student will produce a substantial project over the semester. The assignments will be open-ended, open to both creative and analytical works; a major component of the class will be incorporating these ideas into our own writing. This course is part of the Thinking Animals Initiative, an interdivisional collaboration among students and faculty to further the understanding of animals and human-animal relationships.