Animals and the Human Imagination A Companion to Animal Studies

ISBN-10: 0231152973
ISBN-13: 9780231152976
Edition: 2012
List price: $34.00
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Description: Human beings have long imagined their subjectivity, ethics, and ancestry with and through animals, yet not until the mid-twentieth century did contemporary thought reflect critically on animals' significance in human self-conception. Thinkers such  More...

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Book details

List price: $34.00
Copyright year: 2012
Publisher: Columbia University Press
Publication date: 4/24/2012
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 392
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.00" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.220
Language: English

Human beings have long imagined their subjectivity, ethics, and ancestry with and through animals, yet not until the mid-twentieth century did contemporary thought reflect critically on animals' significance in human self-conception. Thinkers such as French philosopher Jacques Derrida, South African novelist J. M. Coetzee, and American theorist Donna Haraway have initiated rigorous inquiries into the question of the animal, now blossoming in a number of directions. It is no longer strange to say that if animals did not exist, we would have to invent them.This interdisciplinary and cross-cultural collection reflects the growth of animal studies as an independent field and the rise of "animality" as a critical lens through which to analyze society and culture, on par with race and gender. Essays center on the role of animals in the human imagination and the imagination of the human, a discourse that has evolved in tandem with discussions of—and more robust concern for—animals in popular culture. They consider the worldviews of several indigenous peoples, animal-human mythology in early modern China, and political uses of the animal in postcolonial India. They engage with the theoretical underpinnings of the animal protection movement, representations of animals in children's literature, the depiction of animals in contemporary art, and the philosophical positioning of the animal from Aristotle to Heidegger. The strength of this companion lies in its timeliness and contextual diversity, which makes it essential reading for students and researchers while further developing the parameters of the discipline.

Jonathan Safran Foer (born 1977) is an American author best known for his novels Everything Is Illuminated (2002) and Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close (2005). He was born in Washington, D.C. and attended Georgetown Day School and Princeton University. In 2000, Foer was awarded the Zoetrope: All-Story Fiction Prize and in 2007 he was included in Granta's Best of Young American Novelists. His forthcoming nonfiction book is entitled, Eating Animals. His title Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close made The N.Y. Times Best Seller List for 2012.

Wendy Doniger is the Mircea Eliade Professor of the History of Religions in the Divinity School and a professor in the Department of South Asian Languages and Civilizations and the Committee on Social Thought at the University of Chicago. She is the author of numerous books, including, most recently, The Woman Who Pretended to Be Who She Was.

Foreword
Acknowledgments
Introduction and Overview: Animal Others and Animal Studies
Other Animals: Animals Across Cultures
Hunting and Gathering as Ways of Perceiving the Environment
On Yeti and Being Just: Carving the Borders of Humanity in Early Modern China
Pastoral Power in the Postcolony: On the Biopolitics of the Criminal Animal in South India
Animal Matters: Human/Animal and the Contemporary West
Discipline and Distancing: Confined Pigs in the Factory Farm Gulag
Boys Gone Wild: The Animal and the Abject
Animal Heroes and Transforming Substances: Canine Characters in Contemporary Children's Literature
The Making of a Wilderness Icon: Green Fire, Charismatic Species, and the Changing Status of Wolves in the United States
Thinking with Surfaces: Animals and Contemporary Art
Animal Others: Theorizing Animal/Human
Being with Animals: Reconsidering Heidegger's Animal Ontology
Heidegger and the Dog Whisperer: Imagining Interspecies Kindness
The Lives of Animals: Wittgenstein, Coetzee, and the Extent of the Sympathetic Imagination
Animal, All Too Animal: Blood Music and an Ethic of Vulnerability
Epilogue: Making Animals Vanish
Contributors
Index

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