Following are the books coming out this month that we are excited about!
Gruen, L. and F. Probyn-Rapsey, eds. (2018). Animaladies: Gender, Animals, and Madness. Bloomsbury Publishing USA. Do depictions of crazy cat ladies obscure more sinister structural violence against animals hoarded in factory farms? Highlighting the frequent pathologization of animal lovers and animal rights activists, this book examines how the “madness” of our relationships with animals intersects with the “madness” of taking animals seriously. The essays collected in this volume argue that “animaladies” are expressive of political and psychological discontent, and the characterization of animal advocacy as mad or “crazy” distracts attention from broader social unease regarding human exploitation of animal life. While allusions to madness are both subtle and overt, they are also very often gendered, thought to be overly sentimental with an added sense that emotions are being directed at the wrong species. Animaladies are obstacles for the political uptake of interest in animal issues-as the intersections between this volume and established feminist scholarship show, the fear of being labeled unreasonable or mad still has political currency.
Anderson, J. E., Asselin, S., Attebery, S., Greene, A. Z., Harper, T., Berns, F. G., … & Yates, M. (2018). Gender and Environment in Science Fiction. Lexington Books. Gender and Environment in Science Fiction focuses on the variety of ways that gender and “nature” interact in science fiction films and fictions, exploring questions of different realities and posing new ones. Science fiction asks questions to propose other ways of living; it asks what if, and that question is the basis for alternative narratives of ourselves and the world we are a part of. What if humans could terraform planets? What if we could create human-nonhuman hybrids? What if artificial intelligence gains consciousness? What if we could realize kinship with other species through heightened empathy or traumatic experiences? What if we imagine a world without oil? The texts analyzed in this book ask these questions and others, exploring how humans and nonhumans are connected; how nonhuman biologies can offer diverse ways to think about human sex, gender, and sexual orientation; and how interpretive strategies can subvert the messages of older films and written texts.
Breyer, T. and T. Widlok. (2018). The Situationality of Human-Animal Relations: Perspectives from Anthropology and Philosophy. Columbia UP. Riding, hunting, fishing, bullfighting: Human-animal relations are diverse. This anthology presents various case studies of situations in which humans and animals come into contact and asks for the anthropological and philosophical implications of such encounters. The contributions by renowned scholars such as Garry Marvin, Albert Piette, and Kazuyoshi Sugawara present multidisciplinary methodological reflections on concepts such as embodiment, emplacement, or the conditio animalia (in addition to the conditio humana) as well as a consideration of the term “situationality” within the field of anthropology.
Ferdowsian, H. (2018). Phoenix Zones: Where Strength Is Born and Resilience Lives. University of Chicago Press. Few things get our compassion flowing like the sight of suffering. But our response is often shaped by our ability to empathize with others. Some people respond to the suffering of only humans or to one person’s plight more than another’s. Others react more strongly to the suffering of an animal. These divergent realities can be troubling—but they are also a reminder that trauma and suffering are endured by all beings, and we can learn lessons about their aftermath, even across species. With Phoenix Zones, Dr. Hope Ferdowsian shows us how. Ferdowsian has spent years traveling the world to work with people and animals who have endured trauma—war, abuse, displacement. Here, she combines compelling stories of survivors with the latest science on resilience to help us understand the link between violence against people and animals and the biological foundations of recovery, peace, and hope. Taking us to the sanctuaries that give the book its title, she reveals how the injured can heal and thrive if we attend to key principles: respect for liberty and sovereignty, a commitment to love and tolerance, the promotion of justice, and a fundamental belief that each individual possesses dignity. Courageous tales show us how: stories of combat veterans and wolves recovering together at a California refuge, Congolese women thriving in one of the most dangerous places on earth, abused chimpanzees finding peace in a Washington sanctuary, and refugees seeking care at Ferdowsian’s own medical clinic.
Schäfer, D., Siebert, M., & Sterckx, R. (Eds.). (2018). Animals Through Chinese History. Cambridge University Press. This volume opens a door into the rich history of animals in China. As environmental historians turn their attention to expanded chronologies of natural change, something new can be said about human history through animals and about the globally diverse cultural and historical dynamics that have led to perceptions of animals as wild or cultures as civilized. This innovative collection of essays spanning Chinese history reveals how relations between past and present, lived and literary reality, have been central to how information about animals and the natural world has been processed and evaluated in China. Drawing on an extensive array of primary sources, ranging from ritual texts to poetry to veterinary science, this volume explores developments in the human-animal relationship through Chinese history and the ways in which the Chinese have thought about the world with and through animals. This title is also available as Open Access.