Animals and the Human Imagination: A Companion to Animal Studies by Aaron GrossAnimals and the Human Imagination: A Companion to Animal Studies by Aaron Gross

Animals and the Human Imagination: A Companion to Animal Studies

EditorAaron Gross, Anne VallelyForeword byJonathan Safran Foer

Paperback | April 24, 2012

Pricing and Purchase Info


Earn 229 plum® points

Prices and offers may vary in store


In stock online

Ships free on orders over $25

Not available in stores


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 a par with race and gender. Essays consider the role of animals in the human imagination and the imagination of the human; the worldviews of 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, depictions of animals in contemporary art, and the philosophical positioning of the animal from Aristotle to Derrida. 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.

Aaron S. Gross is a professor of theology and religious studies at the University of San Diego and holds a MTS from Harvard Divinity School and a Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara. He co-chairs the American Academy of Religion's Animals and Religion Group and has played a leading role in a wide variety of national...
Title:Animals and the Human Imagination: A Companion to Animal StudiesFormat:PaperbackDimensions:392 pagesPublished:April 24, 2012Publisher:Columbia University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0231152973

ISBN - 13:9780231152976

Look for similar items by category:


Table of Contents

Foreword, by Jonathan Safran FoerIntroduction and Overview: Animal Others and Animal Studies, by Aaron GrossPart 1. Other Animals: Animals Across Cultures1. Hunting and Gathering as Ways of Perceiving the Environment, by Tim Ingold2. On Yeti and Being Just: Carving the Borders of Humanity in Early Modern China, by Carla Nappi3. Pastoral Power in the Postcolony: On the Biopolitics of the Criminal Animal in South India, by Anand PandianPart 2. Animal Matters: Human/Animal and the Contemporary West4. Discipline and Distancing: Confined Pigs in the Factory Farm Gulag, by Joel Novak5. Boys Gone Wild: The Animal and the Abject, by Cynthia Chris6. Animal Heroes and Transforming Substance: Canine Characters in Contemporary Children's Literature, by Michelle Superle7. The Making of a Wilderness Icon: Green Fire, Charismatic Species, and the Changing Status of Wolves in the United States, by Gavin van Horn8. Thinking with Surfaces: Animals and Contemporary Art, by Ron BroglioPart 3. Animal Others: Theorizing Animal/Human9. Being with Animals: Reconsidering Heidegger's Animal Ontology, by Brett Buchanan10. Heidegger and the Dog Whisperer: Imagining Interspecies Kindness, by Ashley E. Pryor11. The Lives of Animals: Wittgenstein, Coetzee, and the Extent of the Sympathetic Imagination, by Undine Sellbach12. Animal, All Too Animal: Blood Music and an Ethic of Vulnerability, by Myra J. HirdEpilogue: Making Animals Vanish, by Wendy Doniger

Editorial Reviews

...a strong addition to psychology, literary, and wildlife collections, enthusiastically recommended and fascinating reading.