Thinking Animals Why Animal Studies Now?

ISBN-10: 0231148097

ISBN-13: 9780231148092

Edition: 2012

Authors: Kari Weil
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Description: Animal studies has emerged as a major field within the humanities, despite its challenge to the very notion of the "human" that shapes humanities scholarship. Kari Weil investigates the rise of animal studies and its singular reading of literature and philosophy through the lens of human-animal relations and difference, providing not only a critical introduction to the field but also an appreciation of its thrilling acts of destabilization.Weil explores the mechanisms we use to build knowledge of other animals, to understand ourselves in relation to other animals, and to represent animals in literature, philosophy, theory, art, and cultural practice. Examining real and imagined confrontations between human and nonhuman animals, she charts the presumed lines of difference between human beings and other species and the personal, ethical, and political implications of those boundaries. Her considerations recast the work of such authors as Kafka, Mann, Woolf, and Coetzee, and such philosophers as Nietzsche, Heidegger, Derrida, Deleuze, Agamben, Cixous, and Hearne, while incorporating the aesthetic perspectives of such visual artists as Bill Viola, Frank Noelker, and Sam Taylor-Wood and the "visual thinking" of the autistic animal scientist Temple Grandin. Weil addresses theories of pet keeping and domestication; the importance of animal agency; the intersection of animal studies, disability studies, and ethics; and the role of gender, shame, love, and grief in shaping our attitudes toward animals. Exposing humanism's conception of the human as a biased illusion, and embracing posthumanism's acceptance of human and animal entanglement, Weil unseats the comfortable assumptions of humanist thought and its species-specific distinctions.

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Book details

Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 5/1/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 216
Size: 5.59" wide x 8.19" long x 0.45" tall
Weight: 0.792
Language: English

Acknowledgments
Introduction
Why Animal Studies Now?
A Report on the Animal Turn
Seeing Animals
Pet Tales
Is a Pet an Animal? Domestication and Animal Agency
Gendered Subjects/Abject Objects: Man(n)'s Best Friend
Dog Love/W(o)olf Love
Grieving Animals
A Proper Death
Thinking and Unthinking Animal Death: Temple Grandin and J. M. Coetzee
Ethical B�tises
Animal Liberation or Shameless Freedom
"And Toto Too": Animal Studies, Posthumanism, and Oz
Notes
Index
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