As Friedrich Nietzsche pointed out in his essay The Utility and Liability of History (Vom Nutzen und Nachteil der Historie, 1874), with reference to a grazing herd, the animal "lives ahistorically, for it disappears entirely into the present". According to Nietzsche's view of history as potentially destructive, humans envy animals their ahistorical existence. Nietschze's image of the grazing cow is itself historical and no longer a familiar view in twenty-first century landscapes. In this seminar, we will explore the cultural history of farm animals from the nineteenth-century depiction of receding rural environments, represented, for instance, in the English realist novel (by Elizabeth Gaskel and Thomas Hardy), to twentieth-century industrialization of farming and its effects on humans and animals. More recently, approaches to animals have been theorized by ecocriticism, animal philosophy and posthumanism as well as in the procedures of organic farming. Farm animals such as cows and pigs have been represented in literary fiction, cultural/natural histories and activist texts. They have been employed as metaphors for capitalism and slavery and used in fables to warn against political disasters. They have also been given their own histories and characteristics. These are the contexts and theoretical perspectives, which we will examine in this seminar. A reader with English and German texts will be provided in the first session.