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Following are the books coming out this month that we are excited about!

Gruen, L. (2018). Critical Terms for Animal Studies. University of Chicago. Animal Studies is a rapidly growing interdisciplinary field devoted to examining, understanding, and critically evaluating the complex relationships between humans and other animals. Scholarship in Animal Studies draws on a variety of methodologies to explore these multi-faceted relationships in order to help us understand the ways in which other animals figure in our lives and we in theirs. Bringing together the work of a group of internationally distinguished scholars, the contribution in Critical Terms for Animal Studies offers distinct voices and diverse perspectives, exploring significant concepts and asking important questions. How do we take non-human animals seriously, not simply as metaphors for human endeavors, but as subjects themselves? What do we mean by anthropocentrism, captivity, empathy, sanctuary, and vulnerability, and what work do these and other critical terms do in Animal Studies? Sure to become an indispensable reference for the field, Critical Terms for Animal Studies not only provides a framework for thinking about animals as subjects of their own experiences, but also serves as a touchstone to help us think differently about our conceptions of what it means to be human, and the impact human activities have on the more than human world.

Horsthemke, K. (2018). Animal Rights Education. Springer. This book explores how the ethical treatment and status of other-than-human animals influence pedagogy, teaching, and learning in general, aiming to fill what has been a gap in the philosophy of education. It examines key trends in this regard, including environmental education, humane education, posthumanist education, ecopedagogy, critical animal pedagogy, critical animal studies, animal standpoint theory, and vegan education. The book discusses animal minds and interests, and how animals have been accommodated in moral theory. Further, it investigates whether anti-racist and anti-sexist education logically entail anti-speciesist education and closes by proposing animal rights education as a viable and sound alternative, a pedagogy that does justice not only to animals in general and as species, but also to individual animals. If animal rights education is philosophically and educationally meaningful, then it can arguably offer a powerful pedagogical tool, and facilitate lasting pro-animal changes.

Kessler, B. (2018). Ontology and Closeness in Human-Nature. Springer. In Ontology and Closeness in Human-Nature Relationships, Neil H. Kessler identifies the preconceptions which can keep the modern human mind in the dark about what is happening relationally between humans and the more-than-human world. He has written an accessible work of environmental philosophy, with a focus on the ontology of human-nature relationships. In it, he contends that large-scale environmental problems are intimate and relational in origin. He also challenges the deeply embedded, modernist assumptions about the relational limitations of more-than-human beings, ones which place erroneous limitations on the possibilities for human/more-than-human closeness. Diverging from the posthumanist literature and its frequent reliance on new materialist ontology, the arguments in the book attempt to sweep away what ecofeminists call “human/nature dualisms. In doing so, conceptual avenues open up that have the power to radically alter how we engage in our daily interactions with the more-than-human world all around us. Given the diversity of fields and disciplines focused on the human-nature relationship, the topics of this book vary quite broadly, but always converge at the nexus of what is possible between humans and more-than-human beings. The discussion interweaves the influence of human/nature dualisms with the limitations of Deleuzian becoming and posthumanism’s new materialism and agential realism. It leverages interhuman interdependence theory, Charles Peirce’s synechism of feeling and various treatments of Theory of Mind while exploring the influence of human/nature dualisms on sustainability, place attachment, common worlds pedagogy, emergence, and critical animal studies. It also explores the implications of plant electrical activity, plant intelligence, and plant “neurobiology” for possibilities of relational capacities in plants while even grappling with theories of animism to challenge the animate/inanimate divide. The result is an engaging, novel treatment of human-nature relational ontology that will encourage the reader to look at the world in a whole new way.

Kogan, L. R., & Blazina, C. (Eds.). (2018). Clinician’s Guide to Treating Companion Animal Issues: Addressing Human-Animal Interaction. Academic Press. Clinician’s Guide to Treating Animal Companion Issues: Addressing Human-Animal Interaction is the first of its kind—a groundbreaking resource for mental health professionals who want the knowledge, skills and awareness to successfully work with pet-owning clients. The book trains clinicians across multiple disciplines to feel more comfortable and confident addressing companion-related issues—both when those issues are the primary reason for seeking therapy or a critical component in better understanding client needs. The book uses current human-animal interactions theories as a foundation to explore pet-related issues utilizing behavioral, cognitive behavioral, family systems, humanistic and contemporary psychodynamic therapeutic orientations. Users will find sections on the many issues that arise during the lifespan of pet owners (e.g., children, young adults, elderly), as well as issues pertinent to specific populations (e.g., men, homeless, ethnically diverse). Additional topics include the violence link, pet death and bereavement, and behavioral issues. As the first book to approach human-animal interactions (HAI) from a multi-theoretical perspective, it helps clinicians appropriately acknowledge and incorporate relevant HAI issues within therapy to achieve goals.

  • Provides practical information for immediate use in practice
  • Focuses on common issues relating to companion animals
  • Addresses bereavement, attachment, behavior, and more
  • Includes interactive readings, case studies and therapeutic exercises
  • Contains multiple theoretical orientations (behavioral, cognitive behavioral, family systems, humanistic and psychodynamic approaches)

Krebber, A. and M. Roescher, eds. (2018). Animal Biography: Re-framing Animal Lives. Palgrave Macmillan. While historiography is dominated by attempts that try to standardize and de-individualize the behavior of animals, history proves to be littered with records of the exceptional lives of unusual animals. This book introduces animal biography as an approach to the re-framing of animals as both objects of knowledge as well as subjects of individual lives. Taking an interdisciplinary perspective and bringing together scholars from, among others, literary, historical and cultural studies, the texts collected in this volume seek to refine animal biography as a research method and framework to studying, capturing, representing and acknowledging animal others as individuals. From Heini Hediger’s biting monitor, Hachikō and Murr to celluloid ape Caesar and the mourning of Topsy’s gruesome death, the authors discuss how animal biographies are discovered and explored through connections with humans that can be traced in archives, ethological fieldwork and novels, and probe the means of constructing animal biographies from taxidermy to film, literature and social media. Thus, they invite deeper conversations with socio-political and cultural contexts that allow animal biographies to provide narratives that reach beyond individual life stories, while experimenting with particular forms of animal biographies that might trigger animal activism and concerns for animal well-being, spur historical interest and enrich the literary imagination.

Linzey, A., & Linzey, C. (Eds.). (2018). Ethical Vegetarianism and Veganism. Routledge. The protest against meat eating may turn out to be one of the most significant movements of our age. In terms of our relations with animals, it is difficult to think of a more urgent moral problem than the fate of billions of animals killed every year for human consumption.
This book argues that vegetarians and vegans are not only protestors, but also moral pioneers. It provides 25 chapters which stimulate further thought, exchange, and reflection on the morality of eating meat. A rich array of philosophical, religious, historical, cultural, and practical approaches challenge our assumptions about animals and how we should relate to them. This book provides global perspectives with insights from 11 countries: US, UK, Germany, France, Belgium, Israel, Austria, the Netherlands, Canada, South Africa, and Sweden. Focusing on food consumption practices, it critically foregrounds and unpacks key ethical rationales that underpin vegetarian and vegan lifestyles. It invites us to revisit our relations with animals as food, and as subjects of exploitation, suggesting that there are substantial moral, economic, and environmental reasons for changing our habits. This timely contribution, edited by two of the leading experts within the field, offers a rich array of interdisciplinary insights on what ethical vegetarianism and veganism means. It will be of great interest to those studying and researching in the fields of animal geography and animal-studies, sociology, food studies and consumption, environmental studies, and cultural studies. This book will be of great appeal to animal protectionists, environmentalists, and humanitarians.

Linzey, A., & Linzey, C. (Eds.). (2018). The Routledge Handbook of Religion and Animal Ethics. Routledge. The ethical treatment of non-human animals is an increasingly significant issue, directly affecting how people share the planet with other creatures and visualize themselves within the natural world. The Routledge Handbook of Religion and Animal Ethics is a key reference source in this area, looking specifically at the role religion plays in the formation of ethics around these concerns. Featuring thirty-five chapters by a team of international contributors, the handbook is divided into two parts. The first gives an overview of fifteen of the major world religions’ attitudes towards animal ethics and protection. The second features five sections addressing the following topics: Human Interaction with Animals; Killing and Exploitation; Religious and Secular Law; Evil and Theodicy; Souls and Afterlife. This handbook demonstrates that religious traditions, despite often being anthropocentric, do have much to offer to those seeking a framework for a more enlightened relationship between humans and non-human animals. As such, The Routledge Handbook of Religion and Animal Ethics is essential reading for students and researchers in religious studies, theology, and animal ethics as well as those studying the philosophy of religion and ethics more generally.

Sampson, P. J. Animal Ethics and the Nonconformist Conscience. Palgrave Macmillan. This book explores the religious language of Nonconformity used in ethical debates about animals. It uncovers a rich stream of innovative discourse from the Puritans of the seventeenth century, through the Clapham Sect and Evangelical Revival, to the nineteenth century debates about vivisection. This discourse contributed to law reform and the foundation of the RSPCA, and continues to flavour the way we talk about animal welfare and animal rights today. Shaped by the “nonconformist conscience”, it has been largely overlooked. The more common perception is that Christian “dominion” authorises the human exploitation of animals, while Enlightenment humanism and Darwinian thought are seen as drawing humans and animals together in one “family”. This book challenges that perception, and proposes an alternative perspective. Through exploring the shaping of animal advocacy discourses by Biblical themes of creation, fall and restoration, this book reveals the continuing importance of the nonconformist conscience as a source to enrich animal ethics today. It will appeal to the animal studies community, theologians and early modern historians.

Thomas, N. (2016). Animal ethics and the autonomous animal self. Palgrave Macmillan. This book presents a radical and intuitive argument against the notion that intentional action, agency and autonomy are features belonging only to humans. Using evidence from research into the minds of non-human animals, it explores the ways in which animals can be understood as individuals who are aware of themselves, and the consequent basis of our moral obligations towards them. The first part of this book argues for a conception of agency in animals that admits to degrees among individuals and across species. It explores self-awareness and its various levels of complexity which depend on an animals’ other mental capacities. The author offers an overview of some established theories in animal ethics including those of Peter Singer, Tom Regan, Bernard Rollin and Lori Gruen, and the ways these theories serve to extend moral consideration towards animals based on various capacities that both animals and humans have in common. The book concludes by challenging traditional Kantian notions of rationality and what it means to be an autonomous individual, and discussing the problems that still remain in the study of animal ethics.

Trotter, K. S., & Baggerly, J. N. (Eds.). (2018). Equine-assisted Mental Health Interventions: Harnessing Solutions to Common Problems. Routledge. Written by internationally renowned equine-assisted mental health professionals, this edited collection teaches counselors how to design and implement equine-assisted mental health interventions for different populations and various challenges. Supported by ethical considerations and theoretical frameworks, chapters cover common issues including depression, anxiety, grief, ADHD, autism, eating disorders, substance abuse, self-esteem, social skills and communication, couples and family work, and professional development. Each chapter provides practical tips for implementing treatment strategies, case studies with transcript analyses, and sample session notes. This book will appeal to both the expert equine-assisted mental health counselor and the seasoned counselor who is open to partnering with an equine practitioner to help their clients in new and innovative ways.

Wlodarczyk, J. (2018). Genealogy of Obedience: Reading North American Pet Dog Training Literature, 1850s-2000s. Brill. In Genealogy of Obedience Justyna Włodarczyk provides a long overdue look at the history of companion dog training methods in North America since the mid-nineteenth century, when the market of popular training handbooks emerged. Włodarczyk argues that changes in the functions and goals of dog training are entangled in bigger cultural discourses; with a particular focus on how animal training has served as a field for playing out anxieties related to race, class and gender in North America. By applying a Foucauldian genealogical perspective, the book shows how changes in training methods correlate with shifts in dominant regimes of power. It traces the rise and fall of obedience as a category for conceptualizing relationships with dogs.

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