Parasites as Literary Protagonists-Mind Control, Emasculation, and Egg Sacks
This course will introduce students to the world of pathogens, mainly parasitic animals, affecting host behavior. Various works of science fiction, horror, fantasy, and thrillers, will be drawn from to introduce the subject of host manipulation and control. Discussed will be parasites modifying host behaviors to: protect themselves, change their host's attractiveness to a mate, make the host more attractive to predators, make the host easier to catch by predators, fooling the host into taking care of the parasite's young instead of its own, changing the gender of the host to make it the appropriate parent for its young, etc. Scientific examples of the manipulations used in literature will be presented in relation to the stories presented.
Students enroll in BIOMS 1310.