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Species Matters: Humane Advocacy and Cultural Theory
     

Species Matters: Humane Advocacy and Cultural Theory

by Marianne DeKoven
 

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The question of the animal has preoccupied an increasing number of humanities, science, and social science scholars in recent years, and important work continues to expand the burgeoning field of animal studies. However, a key question still needs to be explored: Why has the academy struggled to link advocacy for animals to advocacy for various human groups? Within

Overview

The question of the animal has preoccupied an increasing number of humanities, science, and social science scholars in recent years, and important work continues to expand the burgeoning field of animal studies. However, a key question still needs to be explored: Why has the academy struggled to link advocacy for animals to advocacy for various human groups? Within cultural studies, in which advocacy can take the form of a theoretical intervention, scholars have resisted arguments that add "species" to race, class, gender, sexuality, disability, and other human-identity categories as a site for critical analysis.

Species Matters: Humane Advocacy and Cultural Theory considers whether and why cultural studies—specifically cultural theory—should pay more attention to animal advocacy and whether or why animal studies should pay more attention to questions raised by cultural theory. The contributors to this volume focus on the "humane" treatment of animals and various human groups and the implications, both theoretical and practical, of blurring the distinction between "the human" and "the animal." This anthology addresses important questions raised by the history of representing humans as the only animal capable of acting humanely, providing a framework for reconsidering the nature of humane discourse, whether in theory, literary and cultural texts, or current advocacy movements outside of the academy.

Editorial Reviews

Matthew Calarco
To date, there has been little discussion about the possible connection between animal studies and advocacy on behalf of the welfare and well-being of animals. This volume takes as its aim the discussion of such possible connections—an important investigation, as the relationship among politics, policy, and advocacy often remains implicit or in the background in much recent work on animal studies. By foregrounding this inquiry, Marianne DeKoven and Michael Lundblad do a great service to readers who might be attracted to this literature's promise or usefulness for various kinds of activism. Likewise, it allows authors and academics interested in animal studies to give further consideration to the possible political implications of work done in this field.

Choice

Intellectually and politically challenging, this provocative collection provides a solid introduction to the field's breadth and a contribution to the debate for those already engaged with the question of the animal.Choice

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780231526838
Publisher:
Columbia University Press
Publication date:
01/10/2012
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
224
File size:
2 MB
Age Range:
18 Years

Meet the Author

Marianne DeKoven is professor of English at Rutgers University and a recipient of both Guggenheim and Rockefeller fellowships. Her books include Utopia Limited: The Sixties and the Emergence of the Postmodern, which won the Perkins Award from the Society of Narrative Literature; Rich and Strange: Gender, History, Modernism; and A Different Language: Gertrude Stein's Experimental Writing. She is also the editor of the Norton Critical Edition of Stein's Three Lives.

Michael Lundblad is assistant professor of English and director of animality studies at Colorado State University. His research focuses on twentieth-century American literature and culture, cultural studies, ecocriticism, and animal and animality studies. His work has appeared in American Literature, PMLA, American Quarterly, and ISLE: Interdisciplinary Studies in Literature and Environment.

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