What Are the Animals to Us?: Approaches from Science, Religion, Folklore, Literature, and Art

Overview

From the first woolly mammoths painted in exquisite detail on Paleolithic cave walls to contemporary depictions of anthropomorphized mice as heroes of animated films and fiction, animals have played crucial roles in human cultures around the world. In What Are the Animals to Us? scholars from a wide variety of academic disciplines explore the diverse meanings of animals in science, religion, folklore, literature, and art. The contributors focus especially on analyzing cultural products about animals. The chapters...

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Overview

From the first woolly mammoths painted in exquisite detail on Paleolithic cave walls to contemporary depictions of anthropomorphized mice as heroes of animated films and fiction, animals have played crucial roles in human cultures around the world. In What Are the Animals to Us? scholars from a wide variety of academic disciplines explore the diverse meanings of animals in science, religion, folklore, literature, and art. The contributors focus especially on analyzing cultural products about animals. The chapters in the first section of the book, “From Totems to Tales,” interpret folklore of cats, foxes, snakes, and frogs in various cultures, while the chapters in thesection on “Real Toads in Imaginary Gardens” concern themselves with literary and historical representations of reindeer, wild birds, tigers, and other animals. The chapters in “Holy Dogs and Scared Bunnies” consider the roles of animals in art and religion. In the section on “Ethics, Ethology, and Konrad Lorenz,” the contributors evaluate the legacy of this cofounder of the science of animal behavior in the light of recent revelations about Lorenz’s National Socialist past. Finally, an extensive afterword offers theoretical and practical ways in which readers might better understand animal others in their own right, and discusses the ethical implications of such an understanding. Accessible and lively, What Are the Animals to Us? is a uniquely wide-ranging and well-written interdisciplinary introduction to the emerging field of animal studies that offers not just novel approaches to the study of what animals mean to people but also fresh insights into a broad range of topics, from environmental history to animal behavior, postmodern art to Christian theology.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781572334724
  • Publisher: University of Tennessee Press
  • Publication date: 9/1/2006
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 400
  • Product dimensions: 6.20 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Dave Aftandilian is preceptor and program coordinator for the Environmental Studies Program at the University of Chicago. He is editor in chief of the “Nature in Legend and Story Newsletter” and cofounder of the University of Chicago Religion and Environment Initiative. Marion W. Copeland is tutor and lecturer in the M.S. program at the Center for Animals and Public Policy, Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine, and professor emerita of English at Holyoke Community College. She is the author of Charles Alexander Eastman (Ohiyesa) and Cockroach. David Scofield Wilson is senior lecturer emeritus in American Studies at the University of California, Davis. He is the author of In the Presence of Nature and coeditor of Rooted in America: Foodlore of Popular Fruits and Vegetables.

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Table of Contents


Introduction: Of Bats, Animal Studies, and Real Animals   Dave Aftandilian     xi
From Totems to Tales: Folklore, Myth, and Animals
Introduction   Boria Sax     1
The Waving Ones: Cats, Folklore, and the Experiential Source Hypothesis   Lynne S. McNeill     5
Spirits, Sex, and Wealth: Fox Lore and Fox Worship in Late Imperial China   Xiaofei Kang     21
Serpentine Mates in Japanese Folklore   Ria Koopmans-de Bruijn     37
Frogs, Snakes, and Agricultural Fertility: Interpreting Illinois Mississippian Representations   Dave Aftandilian     53
Real Toads in Imaginary Gardens: Animals in Literature and History
Introduction   Marion W. Copeland     89
The Nature and Culture of Species: Eighteenth-Century and Contemporary Views   E.J. W. Hinds     95
Wild Animals in a Free Man's World? North American References in Norwegian Sportsmen's Descriptions of Reindeer, 1850-1950   Elisabet Sveingar Amundsen     111
Wild Birds in Aquilino Ribeiro's Writings: Using Literature as a Source for Environmental History   Ana Isabel Queiroz   Maria Teresa L. M. B. Andresen     141
The Triumphant Tiger: Short Narratives by Jorge Luis Borges   Susan Braden     161
Dark Brothers and Shadow Souls: Ursula K. Le Guin's Animal"Fables"   Tonia L. Payne     169
Holy Dogs and Scared Bunnies: Animals in Art and Religion
Introduction   Laura Hobgood-Oster     183
Holy Dogs and Asses: Stories Told through Animal Saints   Laura Hobgood-Oster     189
Paw Prints on Preaching: The Healing Power of Biblical Stories about Animals   Rev. Susan Carole Roy     205
Personification of Pets: The Evolution of Canine Cartoons in the New Yorker   Anne Alden     219
Snakes and Bunnies: The Postmodern Animal in the Art of Ray Johnson   Muffet Jones     241
Come into Animal Presence: Ethics, Ethology, and Konrad Lorenz
Introduction   David Scofield Wilson     259
Konrad Lorenz and the Mythology of Science   Boria Sax     269
The Ethical and Responsible Conduct of Science and the Question of Political Ideology: Konrad Lorenz in the Field of Ethology   Lynette A. Hart     277
Lorenz and Reduction   Bruce Hackett     297
Afterword: Toward a Unity with Nature   Dave Aftandilian   David Scofield Wilson     303
Contributors     327
Index     331
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