Angels and Animals:
Innocence and Responsibility in
Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead

Literature | Philosophy

Course Description

Nobel Prize winner Olga Tokarczuk’s book Drive Your Plow over the Bones of the Dead examines what she calls “the systems of mutual connections and influences of which we are generally unaware”: systems including the bond between humans and animals, the role of religious beliefs and practices, the traditions of cultures and society. The book, loosely organized around William Blake’s ode Auguries of Innocence, is both timeless and timely. It impels the reader to explore questions such as: Are all things that exist interconnected parts of a single whole? If so, what are the obligations of those with experience to those who are innocent—Blake’s “angels”? Do animals have rights and, if they do, to what lengths must one go to recognize and protect them? What makes us embrace or, alternatively, neglect these duties? In what ways does literature induce us to question long-held beliefs and practices and to assume new responsibilities?

Please note that this course has a maximum enrollment of 18 students.

Priority is given to students who pay upon registration.

For fully registered courses, a waiting list will be created. Should vacancies develop, those on the waiting list will be contacted on a first-come, first-served basis.

Course Details

First Session: Tuesday 16 March 2021

Course Length: 8 weeks, Tuesdays, 6:15 p.m. - 8:15 p.m.

Discussion Team: Karen Etingin, Sara Pistolesi, +1

Degree Credit: Yes

Course Fee: 

$130.00 (standard tuition)
$90.00 (promotion for new students)

Administrative Fee:



$160.00 (standard tuition)
$120.00 (promotion for new students)

Course fees are refundable in full before the second session. After the second session, a fee of $50 for the withdrawal will be applied. Refunds will not be issued after the third session. Please note that non-attendance does not constitute a withdrawal.

Degree students, course leaders, and students wishing to use credit vouchers should not register online. 

Degree students must schedule an appointment with the Admissions and Accreditation Committee to register for courses at

Course leaders, and students wishing to use credit vouchers from cancelled Spring 2020 courses, should call (514) 935-9585 to pay by phone or to schedule an appointment to pay in person.

If you are a RETURNING student

If you are a NEW student