Brill Human-Animal Studies Book Series

The mission of the Animals and Society Institute is to advance human knowledge to improve animal lives. Our vision is a compassionate world where animals flourish. The Brill Human-Animal Studies Series supports this mission and vision by publishing books that explore the relationship between human and nonhuman animals. It intentionally casts a wide net, producing titles from any setting, contemporary, historical, and prehistorical from the perspective of various disciplines within both the social sciences and humanities. The broad scope of the series is an acknowledgement of the contributions of a range of perspectives from across academia that often intersect in meaningful ways to build a scholarship of the nonhuman experience through a human lens. In the process, these books challenge the disciplinary cloisters that often hinder the transdisciplinary analysis that is vital to one the fastest growing fields in the academy. Whether examining the lived reality of nonhuman animals in environmental or legal settings or parsing human representations of those animals in popular culture, the Brill Human-Animal Studies Series presents a wide range of cutting-edge scholarship that always retains an eye to helping animals flourish and creating a more compassionate world.

Series Editors:
Kenneth Shapiro
Thomas Aiello
Gala Argent

Editorial Board:
Ralph Acampora (Hofstra University, USA),
Clifton Flyn (University of South Carolina, USA),
Hilda Kean (Ruskin College, Oxford, UK),
Randy Malamud (Georgia State University, USA),
Gail Melson (Purdue University, USA).
Leslie Irvine (University of Colorado, USA)


The following titles have been published so far:


Sentient Entanglements and Ruptures in the Americas: Human-Animal Relations in the Amazon, Andes, and Arctic (2023)

Edited by Maggie Bolton and Jan Peter Laurens Loovers

This book draws together anthropological studies of human-animal relations among Indigenous Peoples in three regions of the Americas: the Andes, Amazonia and the American Arctic. Despite contrasts between the ecologies of the different regions, it finds useful comparisons between the ways that lives of human and non-human animals are entwined in shared circumstances and sentient entanglements. While studies of all three regions have been influential in scholarship on human-animal relations, the regions are seldom brought together. This volume highlights the value of examining partial connections across the American continent between human and other-than-human lives.

To purchase this book, click here.

Read our ‘Interview with the Editors’ of Sentient Entanglements and Ruptures in the Americas here.



Animals Matter: Resistance and Transformation in Animal Commodification (2022)

Edited by Julien Dugnoille and Elizabeth Vander Meer

In this book, we reclaim the term “resistance” by exploring how animals can “resist” their commodification through blocking and allowing human intervention in their lives. In the cases explored in this volume, animals lead humans to rethink their relationship to animals by either blocking and/or allowing human commodification. In some cases, this results in greater control exercised on the animals, while in others, animals’ resistance also poses a series of complex moral questions to human commodifiers, sometimes to the point of transforming humans into active members of resistance movements on behalf of animals.

To purchase this book, click here.

Read our ‘Interview with the Author’ of Animals Matter here.



Absent Interests: On the Abstraction of Human and Animal Milks (2022)

by Sarah Czerny

Absent InterestsHow does milk become cow milk, donkey milk or human milk? When one closely explores this question, the species difference between milks is not as stable as one might initially assume, even if one takes an embodied perspective. To show this, this book takes readers through an ethnographic comparison of milk consumption and production in Croatia in a range of different social settings: on farms, in mother-infant breastfeeding relations, in food hygiene documentation and in the local landscape. It argues that humans actually invest considerable work into abstracting and negotiating milks into their human and animal forms.

To purchase this book, click here.

Read our ‘Interview with the Author’ of Absent Interests here.



The Relational Horse: How Frameworks of Communication, Care, Politics and Power Reveal and Conceal Equine Selves (2022)

by Gala Argent and Jeannette Vaught

Absent InterestsHuman-horse relationships take the central place in this edited collection examining the horse’s perspective by asking: How are human-equine relationships communicated, enacted, understood, encouraged, and restricted? The contributors apply varied disciplinary methods as they emphasize comprehending horses not solely in terms of their functional uses, but also as impactful participants in relationships, whether more—or less—equally. By exploring the “who” of horses, The Relational Horse offers a better understanding of horses’ lived experiences and interests within the worlds they share with humans, and a way forward for human-equine studies that more equitably represents the horse in those shared worlds.

To purchase this book, click here.

Read our ‘Interview with the Editors’ of The Relational Horse here.



Cognitive Kin, Moral Strangers? Linking Animal Cognition, Animal Ethics & Animal Welfare (2019)

by Judith Benz-Schwarzburg

In Cognitive Kin, Moral Strangers?, Judith Benz-Schwarzburg reveals the scope and relevance of cognitive kinship between humans and non-human animals. She presents a wide range of empirical studies on culture, language and theory of mind in animals and then leads us to ask why such complex socio-cognitive abilities in animals matter.

To purchase this book, click here.



Animal Experimentation: Working Towards a Paradigm Change (2019)

Edited by Kathrin Herrmann and Kimberley Jayne
Animal experimentation has been one of the most controversial areas of animal use, mainly due to the intentional harms inflicted upon animals for the sake of hoped-for benefits in humans. Despite this rationale for continued animal experimentation, shortcomings of this practice have become increasingly more apparent and well-documented. However, these limitations are not yet widely known or appreciated, and there is a danger that they may simply be ignored. The 51 experts who have contributed to Animal Experimentation: Working Towards a Paradigm Change critically review current animal use in science, present new and innovative non-animal approaches to address urgent scientific questions, and offer a roadmap towards an animal-free world of science.
To purchase Animal Experimentation, click here.


Animals and Their People: Connecting East and West in Critical Animal Studies (2018)

Edited by Anna Barcz and Dorota Łagodzka

Animals and Their People: Connecting East and West in Cultural Animal Studies, edited by Anna Barcz and Dorota Łagodzka, provides a zoocentric insight into philosophical, artistic, and literary problems in Western, Anglo-American, and Central-Eastern European context. The contributors go beyond treating humans as the sole object of research and comprehension, and focus primarily on non-human animals. This book results from intellectual exchange between Polish and foreign researchers and highlights cultural perspective as an exciting language of animal representation. Animals and Their People aims to bridge the gap between Anglo-American and Central European human-animal studies.


To purchase Animals and their People, click here.


Genealogy of Obedience: Reading North American Dog Training Literature, 1850s-2000s (2018)

by Justyna Wlodarczyk

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.

To purchase Geneaology of Obedience, click here.


Fish, Justice, and Society (2018)

by Carmen Cusack

Fish, Justice, and Society is an in-depth look into the fishing industry, fish, and aquatic environments. This book delves past the façade of what may be known by the average fisherman, bringing to the surface new information about numerous species and aquatic habitats. It is the most comprehensive book on the subject of fish, law, and human behavior. It is a standalone work, but complements Cusack’s Fish in the Bible (2017). It is a treatise on the subject of animal law while also serving the common fisherman information on compliance issues.

To purchase Fish, Justice, and Society click here.




Meat Culture (2017)

Edited by Annie Potts

meatcultureThe analysis of meat and its place in Western culture has been central to Human-Animal Studies as a field. It is even more urgent now as global meat and dairy production are projected to rise dramatically by 2050. While the term ‘carnism’ denotes the invisible belief system (or ideology) that naturalizes and normalizes meat consumption, in this volume we focus on ‘meat culture’, which refers to all the tangible and practical forms through which carnist ideology is expressed and lived. Featuring new work from leading Australasian, European and North American scholars, Meat Culture, edited by Annie Potts, interrogates the representations and discourses, practices and behaviours, diets and tastes that generate shared beliefs about, perspectives on and experiences of meat in the 21st century.

To purchase Meat Culture click here.


Foucault and Animals (2017)

Edited by Matthew Chrulew and Dinesh Joseph Wadiwel

foucaultFoucault and Animals is the first collection of its kind to explore the relevance of Michel Foucault’s thought for the question of the animal. Chrulew and Wadiwel bring together essays from emerging and established scholars that illuminate the place of animals and animality within Foucault’s texts, and open up his highly influential range of concepts and methods to different domains of human-animal relations including experimentation, training, zoological gardens, pet-keeping, agriculture, and consumption. Touching on themes such as madness and discourse, power and biopolitics, government and ethics, and sexuality and friendship, the volume takes the fields of Foucault studies and human-animal studies into promising new directions.

To purchase Foucault and Animals click here.


Animals at Work (2013)

By Nik Taylor and Lindsay Hamilton

animalsatworkAnimals at Work is founded upon a broad and unique variety of empirical research settings – animal sanctuaries, farms, slaughter-houses, veterinary practices and behind the scenes of a natural history documentary film-making team. Hamilton and Taylor apply a breadth of post-structural and post-humanist theories to establish what happens when animal-agents are brought into human networks and spaces of representation, and the artful ways in which they become integral in shared human meaning-making. Interrogating the apparent boundaries of meaning between animals and humans by taking a close-up view of those working with animals in a variety of occupational settings, the book enjoys a rare and original range of empirical research contexts from British dairy farms to the jungles of Borneo.

To purchase Animals at Work click here.

Animals and War (2012)

By Ryan Hediger

AnimalsandWarAnimals and War is the first collection of essays to explore its important, yet neglected, topic. Scholars from sociology, history, anthropology, and literary and cultural studies investigate the presence of animals in human wars. The essays analyze a wide range of phenomena, including the new militarization of bees, zoo animals during war, war dogs, Finish horses in World War II, Canadian war literature, and the effort to memorialize nonhuman war animals. Although animals are often forced to participate in human wars, their presence also signals human vulnerability and dependence. Several chapters demonstrate that in the frequently horrible circumstances of war, powerful sympathies nonetheless flourish between humans and animals. Animals and War thus exposes the often paradoxical contours of human-animal relationships.

To purchase Animals and War click here.


Crossing Boundaries (2012)

Edited by Lynda Birke and Jo Hockenhull

crossingboundariesMany people feel strong bonds with nonhuman animals, and these relationships are central to much emerging scholarship in human-animal studies. Yet to study relationships is not straightforward; research often focuses on how humans affect animals or vice versa rather than on the relationships themselves. Partly, this is a consequence of the history of disciplinary divisions, particularly between natural and social sciences. In this book, contributors from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds reflect on the methodological challenges they face, and how they go about studying relationships between people and animals. The book provides fascinating insights into how research on human-animal relationships can rise to the challenges of interdisciplinarity, and help us to understand the animals with whom we bond.

To purchase Crossing Boundaries click here.

The Animals of Spain: An Introduction to Imperial Perceptions and Human Interaction with Other Animals, 1492-1826 (2011)

By Abel A. Alves

animalsofspainWritings from 1492 to 1826 reveal that the history of animals in the Spanish empire transcended the bullfight. The early modern Spanish empire was shaped by its animal actors, and authors from Cervantes to the local officials who wrote the relaciones geograficas were aware of this. Nonhuman animals provided food, clothing, labor, entertainment and companionship. Functioning as allegories of human behavior, nonhuman animals were perceived by Spanish and Amerindian authors alike as bearing some relationship to humans. On occasion, they even were appreciated as unique and fascinating beings. Through empirical observation and metaphor, some in the Spanish empire saw themselves as related in some way to other animals, recognizing, before Darwin, a “difference in degree rather than kind.”

To purchase The Animals of Spain click here.

Anthropocentrism: Humans, Animals, Environments (2011)

Edited by Rob Boddice

anthropocentrismAnthropocentrism is a charge of human chauvinism and an acknowledgement of human ontological boundaries. Anthropocentrism has provided order and structure to humans’ understanding of the world, while unavoidably expressing the limits of that understanding. This collection explores the assumptions behind the label ‘anthropocentrism’, critically enquiring into the meaning of ‘human’. It addresses the epistemological and ontological problems of charges of anthropocentrism, questioning whether all human views are inherently anthropocentric. In addition, it examines the potential scope for objective, empathetic, relational, or ‘other’ views that trump anthropocentrism. With a principal focus on ethical questions concerning animals, the environment and the social, the essays ultimately cohere around the question of the non-human, be it animal, ecosystem, god, or machine.

To purchase Anthropocentrism click here.

Theorizing Animals: Rethinking Humanimal Relations (2011)

Edited by Nik Taylor and Tania Signal

theorizinganimalscoverUtilizing ideas from post-modernism and post-humanism, this book challenges current ways of thinking about animals and their relationships with humans. Including contributions from across the social sciences, the book encourages readers to reflect upon taken-for- granted ways of conceptualizing human relationships with animals. It will be of interest to those in the broad field of human-animal studies as well as those within most social science and humanities disciplines, including sociology, anthropology, philosophy and social theory.

To purchase Theorizing Animals click here.

Herding Monkeys to Paradise: How Macaque Troops are Managed for Tourism in Japan (2011)

By John Knight

herdingmonkeysThis book is a study of the use of monkeys as a tourist attraction in Japan. Monkey parks are popular visitor attractions that display free-ranging troops of Japanese macaques to the paying public. The parks work by manipulating the movements of the monkey troop through the regular provision of food handouts at a fixed site where the monkeys can be easily viewed. This system of management leads to a variety of problems, including proliferating monkey numbers, park-edge crop-raiding, and the sedentarization of the troop. In addition to falling visitor numbers, these problems have led to the closure or fencing in of many parks, calling into question the future of the monkey park as an institution.

To purchase Herding Monkeys to Paradise click here.

Paper Tiger: A Visual History of the Thylacine (2010)

By Carol Freeman

papertigerImages of animals generate perceptions that have a profound effect on attitudes toward species. Can representations contribute to their extinction? Paper Tiger considers the role of illustrations in the demise of the thylacine or Tasmanian ‘tiger’. It critiques 80 engravings, lithographs, drawings and photographs published between 1808 and 1936, paying attention to the messages they convey, the politics of representation, and the impact on the lives of animals. This approach challenges conventional histories, offers new understandings of human-animal interactions, and presents a chilling story of just how misleading and powerful visual representation can be. It demonstrates how pictures, together with words, can have a vital influence on species’ survival.

To purchase Paper Tiger click here.

Animals and Agency (2009)

Edited by Sarah E. McFarland and Ryan Hediger

animalsagencyWhile many scholars who write about animals deal with animal agency in some way, this volume is the first to position the question of nonhuman agency as the primary focus of inquiry. Section I presents studies of actual animals demonstrating agency; Section II moves agency into new terrain while considering key representations of animal agency in literature; Section III analyzes animals as mediators and as conveyances of human-to-human communication; and Section IV investigates the agency of beings who defy conventional species categories. The Envoi demonstrates how the microscopic polyp is interwoven into notions of agency and mythical superagency. This volume’s interdisciplinary explorations press hard on issues of agency to open up space for more questions about how we can understand relationships between the human and the nonhuman.

To purchase Animals and Agency click here.

Speaking of Animals: Essays on Dogs and Others (2009)

By Terry Caesar

speakingofanimalslSpeaking of Animals consists of a linked series of thirteen essays about subjects ranging from deciding to castrate a dog, evaluating recent dog memoirs, observing animals in Spain, reading about the training of big cats, watching Animal Planet, and being unable to kill a racoon in Texas. So often personal, even while analyzing novels such as Water for Elephants or movies such as Giant or Into the Wild, the essays offer both an implicit critique and a continuation of recent discursive trends in animal studies, whose language is too haplessly abstracted from the animals in whose name we humans strive to speak as well as narrate.

To purchase Speaking of Animals click here.

Animal Encounters (2009)

Edited by Tom Tyler and Manuela Rossini

animal_encountersAnimal Encounters presents a multidisciplinary selection of essays in which an array of nonhuman animals meet with philosophers, literary scholars and scientists, artists and historians, novelists and naturalists, who are interested in the productive potential of interspecies exchange and collaboration. Brought together under six strategic headings, the collection constitutes a series of encounters not only between animals, human and otherwise, but also between different disciplinary methods, theoretical approaches, and ethical positions.

To purchase Animal Encounters click here.

Canis Africanis: A dog history of South Africa (2007)

Edited by Sandra Swart and Lance van Sittert

canisThis suite of essays is a first for historical writing about southern Africa: they recover an animal’s ubiquitous, yet hidden presence in human history. The authors have used the dog as a way “to think about human society”. The dog is the connecting thread binding these essays, which each reveals a different part of the complex social history of southern Africa. The essays range widely from concerns over disease, bestiality, and social degradation through greyhound gambling, to anxieties over social status reflected through breed classifications, to social rebellion through resistance to the dog tax imposed by colonial authorities. With its focus on dogs in human history, this project is part of what has been termed the animal turn’ in the social sciences, which investigates the spaces which animals inhabit in human society and the way in which animal and human lives interconnect.

To purchase Canis Africanis click here.

Knowing Animals (2007)

Edited by Laurence Simmons and Philip Armstrong

knowinganimalsIn recent decades the humanities and social sciences have undergone ananimal turn’, an efflorescence of interdisciplinary scholarship which is fresh and challenging because its practitioners consider humans as animals amongst other animals, while refusing to do so from an exclusively or necessarily biological point of view. Knowing Animals showcases original explorations of the ‘animal turn’ by new and eminent scholars in philosophy, literary criticism, art history and cultural studies. The essays collected here describe a lively bestiary of cultural organisms, whose flesh is (at least partly) conceptual and textual: paper tigers, beast fables, anthropomorphs, humanimals, and l’animot. In so doing, they investigate the benefits of knowing animals differently: more closely, less definitively, more carefully, less certainly. Contributors include: Laurence Simmons, Alphonso Lingis, Barbara Creed, Tanja Schwalm, Philip Armstrong, Annie Potts, Allan Smith, Ricardo De Vos, Catharina Landstrm, Brian Boyd, Helen Tiffin, and Ian Wedde.

To purchase Knowing Animals click here.

In Search of Consistency: Ethics, Animals, and the Minimize Harm Maxim (2006)

By Lisa Kemmerer

InSearchThis volume introduces the most important ideas in animal ethics and builds on a critical dialogue emerging at the intersection of animal rights, environmental ethics, and religious studies. In Search of Consistency examines the work of influential scholars Tom Regan (animal rights), Peter Singer (utilitarian ethics), Andrew Linzey (theologian), and Paul Taylor (environmental ethics), and explores ethics and animals across six world religions (Indigenous faiths, Hinduism, Buddhism, Christianity, Judaism, and Islam). In Search of Consistency sheds light on ‘the sanctity of life’ by means of an intriguing moral theory, ‘The Minimize Harm Maxim’, rooted in the time-honored moral ideals of impartiality and consistency. This volume questions what it means to be human and challenges our assumed place in the universe.

To purchase In Search of Consistency click here.

Mad about Wildlife: Looking at Social Conflict Over Wildlife (2005)

Edited by Ann Herda-Rapp and Theresa L. Goedeke

madaboutwildlifeThis edited volume documents the presence and types of Nature discourse that emerge during conflicts between people over wildlife. This collection of qualitative case studies demonstrates how social groups create opposing symbolic meanings of Nature and highlights the way in which the successful imposition of those meanings affects wildlife, people generally, and management professionals. Together, the chapters illustrate the significant, untapped utility of constructionist approaches for understanding social conflict over wildlife issues and for managing natural resources in a way that acknowledges and incorporates different definitions of nature.

To purchase Mad about Wildlife click here.

Confronting Cruelty-Moral: Orthodoxy and the Challenge of the Animal Rights Movement (2005)

By Lyle Munro

confrontingcrueltyWhy and how do people campaign on behalf of a species that is not their own? Responses to this question provide important insights into the much misunderstood animal rights movement and the people in it who challenge the moral orthodoxy that underpins our attitudes towards nonhuman animals. The norm of moderate concern for animals – that animals matter albeit less than humans – permits the (ab)use of animals in vivisection, factory farming, bloodsports and other contexts where animals suffer. Social movement theory is used to show how animal rights activists are engaged in the social construction of cruelty as a social problem which they seek to prevent by their intellectual, practical and emotion work in seminal campaigns against cruelty in the United States, England and Australia.

To purchase Confronting Cruelty click here.

Unless otherwise noted, all content on this website is copyright © 2024 The Animals and Society Institute. Please visit to find out more about our reprint and use policies.

Share Us Online