Bezan, S. and J.Tink, eds. (2018). Seeing Animals After Derrida. Lexington Books. This volume charts a new course in animal studies that re-examines Jacques Derrida’s enduring thought on the visualization of the animal in his seminal Cerisy Conference from 1997, The Animal That Therefore I Am. Building new proximities with the animal in and through – and at times in spite of – the visual apparatus, Seeing Animals after Derrida investigates how the recent turn in animal studies toward new materialism, speculative realism, and object-oriented ontology prompts a renewed engagement with Derrida’s animal philosophy. In taking up the matter of Derrida’s treatment of animality for the current epoch, the contributors to this book each present a case for new philosophical approaches and aesthetic paradigms that challenge the ocularcentrism of Western culture.
Boehrer, B., Hand, M., & Massumi, B. (Eds.). (2018). Animals, Animality, and Literature. Cambridge University Press. Animals, Animality, and Literature offers readers a one-volume survey of the field of literary animal studies in both its theoretical and applied dimensions. Focusing on English literary history, with scrupulous attention to the interplay between English and foreign influences, this collection gathers together the work of nineteen internationally noted specialists in this growing discipline. Offering discussion of English literary works from Beowulf to Virginia Woolf and beyond, this book explores the ways human/animal difference has been historically activated within the literary context: in devotional works, in philosophical and zoological treatises, in plays and poems and novels, and more recently within emerging narrative genres such as cinema and animation. With an introductory overview of the historical development of animal studies and afterword looking to the field’s future possibilities, Animals, Animality, and Literature provides a wide-ranging survey of where this discipline currently stands.
Boisseron, B. (2018). Afro-Dog: Blackness and the Animal Question. Columbia University Press. The animal-rights organization PETA asked “Are Animals the New Slaves?” in a controversial 2005 fundraising campaign; that same year, after the Humane Society rescued pets in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina while black residents were neglected, some declared that white America cares more about pets than black people. These are but two recent examples of a centuries-long history in which black life has been pitted against animal life. Does comparing human and animal suffering trivialize black pain, or might the intersections of racialization and animalization shed light on interlinked forms of oppression? In Afro-Dog, Bénédicte Boisseron investigates the relationship between race and the animal in the history and culture of the Americas and the black Atlantic, exposing a hegemonic system that compulsively links and opposes blackness and animality to measure the value of life. She analyzes the association between black civil disobedience and canine repression, a history that spans the era of slavery through the use of police dogs against protesters during the civil rights movement of the 1960s to today in places like Ferguson, Missouri. She also traces the lineage of blackness and the animal in Caribbean literature and struggles over minorities’ right to pet ownership alongside nuanced readings of Derrida and other French theorists. Drawing on recent debates on black lives and animal welfare, Afro-Dog reframes the fast-growing interest in human–animal relationships by positioning blackness as a focus of animal inquiry, opening new possibilities for animal studies and black studies to think side by side.
Fudge, E. (2018). Quick Cattle and Dying Wishes: People and Their Animals in Early Modern England. Cornell University Press. What was the life of a cow in early modern England like? What would it be like to milk that same cow, day-in, day-out, for over a decade? How did people feel about and toward the animals that they worked with, tended, and often killed? With these questions, Erica Fudge begins her investigation into a lost aspect of early modern life: the importance of the day-to-day relationships between humans and the animals with whom they worked. Such animals are and always have been, Fudge reminds us, more than simply stock; they are sentient beings with whom one must negotiate. It is the nature, meaning, and value of these negotiations that this study attempts to recover. By focusing on interactions between people and their livestock, Quick Cattle and Dying Wishes restores animals to the central place they once had in the domestic worlds of early modern England. In addition, the book uses human relationships with animals—as revealed through agricultural manuals, literary sources, and a unique dataset of over four thousand wills—to rethink what quick cattle meant to a predominantly rural population and how relationships with them changed as more and more people moved to the city. Offering a fuller understanding of both human and animal life in this period, Fudge innovatively expands the scope of early modern studies and how we think about the role that animals played in past cultures more broadly.
Kean, H., & Howell, P. (Eds.). (2018). The Routledge Companion to Animal-Human History. Routledge. The Routledge Companion to Animal-Human History provides an up-to-date guide for the historian working within the growing field of animal-human history. Giving a sense of the diversity and interdisciplinary nature of the field, cutting-edge contributions explore the practices of and challenges posed by historical studies of animals and animal-human relationships. Divided into three parts, the Companion takes both a theoretical and practical approach to a field that is emerging as a prominent area of study. Animals and the Practice of History considers established practices of history, such as political history, public history and cultural memory, and how animal-human history can contribute to them. Problems and Paradigms identifies key historiographical issues to the field with contributors considering the challenges posed by topics such as agency, literature, art and emotional attachment. The final section, Themes and Provocations, looks at larger themes within the history of animal-human relationships in more depth, with contributions covering topics that include breeding, war, hunting and eating. As it is increasingly recognised that nonhuman actors have contributed to the making of history, The Routledge Companion to Animal-Human History provides a timely and important contribution to the scholarship on animal-human history and surrounding debates.
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.
Landgraf, E., Trop, G., & Weatherby, L. (Eds.). (2018). Posthumanism in the Age of Humanism: Mind, Matter, and the Life Sciences after Kant. Bloomsbury Publishing USA. The literary and scientific renaissance that struck Germany around 1800 is usually taken to be the cradle of contemporary humanism. Posthumanism in the Age of Humanism shows how figures like Immanuel Kant and Johann Wolfgang Goethe as well as scientists specializing in the emerging modern life and cognitive sciences not only established but also transgressed the boundaries of the “human.” This period so broadly painted as humanist by proponents and detractors alike also grappled with ways of challenging some of humanism’s most cherished assumptions: the dualisms, for example, between freedom and nature, science and art, matter and spirit, mind and body, and thereby also between the human and the nonhuman. Posthumanism is older than we think, and the so-called “humanists” of the late Enlightenment have much to offer our contemporary re-thinking of the human.
Parreñas, J. S. (2018). Decolonizing Extinction: The Work of Care in Orangutan Rehabilitation. Duke University Press. In Decolonizing Extinction Juno Salazar Parreñas ethnographically traces the ways in which colonialism, decolonization, and indigeneity shape relations that form more-than-human worlds at orangutan rehabilitation centers on Borneo. Parreñas tells the interweaving stories of wildlife workers and the centers’ endangered animals while demonstrating the inseparability of risk and futurity from orangutan care. Drawing on anthropology, primatology, Southeast Asian history, gender studies, queer theory, and science and technology studies, Parreñas suggests that examining workers’ care for these semi-wild apes can serve as a basis for cultivating mutual but unequal vulnerability in an era of annihilation. Only by considering rehabilitation from perspectives thus far ignored, Parreñas contends, could conservation biology turn away from ultimately violent investments in population growth and embrace a feminist sense of welfare, even if it means experiencing loss and pain.
Thompson, R. (2018). No Word for Wilderness: Italy’s Grizzlies and the Race to Save the Rarest Bears on Earth. Ashland Creek Press. In Italian, there is no word for wilderness. Yet in the mountains of Italy, brown bears not only exist, they are fighting to survive amid encroaching development, local and international politics, and the mafia. This meticulously researched and eye-opening book tells the incredible stories of two special populations of bears in Italy—one the last vestige of a former time that persists against all odds, the other a great experiment in rewilding that, if successful, promises to change how we see not only Italy but all of Europe. The Abruzzo bears of central Italy have survived amid one of the oldest civilizations on earth—but now, with numbers estimated at as low as fifty individuals, they face a critical future as multiple forces, from farmers to the mob, collide within their territory. The Slovenian bears of northern Italy, brought to the Alps at the turn of the century, have sparked controversy among local and international interests alike. The stories of these bears take readers on a spectacular journey across Italy, where we come face-to-face not only with these fascinating species but with embattled park directors, heroic environmentalists, innovative scientists, and a public that is coming to terms with the importance of Italy’s rich natural history. Award-winning author Roger Thompson has traveled throughout Italy documenting the history and current crises of these bears, and the result is an engaging and in-depth examination that resonates across all endangered species and offers invaluable insights into the ever-evolving relationships between human and non-human animals in a rapidly changing world.