‘Beyond Human: Animals in Literature’ events slated in April

The Chautauqua-Cattaraugus County Library System Regional Read is partnering with a State University of New York at Fredonia Department of English capstone class to explore the topic, “Beyond Human: Animals in Literature” in several local libraries in April.

Featuring a variety of readings related to animals, the Fredonia English students and librarians will lead book discussions, panels, writing workshops and other events that explore questions about animal and human agency, empathy, and animal sentience, voice and consciousness. The community reading series will offer a selection of literature that appeals to readers of various ages, reading levels, and interests. For more information about each event and the community partners view the students’ class blog at https://fredoniaengl400.wordpress.com/

In addition to the events, the English capstone students are continuing historical humane education traditions through a “Be Kind to Animals” Creative Competition. The competition invites community members of all ages to submit art work and writing that emphasizes the human/animal bond. Entries can be submitted digitally at rwentworth@fredonia.edu or delivered in person to Scott Richmond at Fredonia’s Reed Library by Sunday, April 23 by 11:30 p.m. Organizers ask that the entrants’ name, age, and contact information accompany the submission. Submissions will be displayed alongside the “Be Kind” exhibit in Reed Library running through April 28. Winners will be recognized at the month’s culminating event, a “Be Kind to Animals” panel, in Reed Library on May 4 at 4:30 p.m. in three categories: Youth (to 12 years of age), Teen (13 to 18) and Adult (19 and older).

To give back to the community, English capstone students will also be selling raffle tickets, with all proceeds to benefit the Lakeshore Humane Society and the Chautauqua County Humane Society. Winners will also be announced at the “Be Kind to Animals” Panel which is during the national “Be Kind to Animals Week.”

Regional Read events are sponsored by the Carnahan Jackson Fund for the Humanities, the Chautauqua-Cattaraugus County Library System, and the Fredonia Department of English. All events are free and open to the public.

For more information, contact Fredonia English Associate Professor Emily E. VanDette at Emily.VanDette@fredonia.edu.