The Birth of a Jungle: Animality in Progressive-Era U.S. Literature and Culture

Paperback | February 25, 2015

byMichael Lundblad

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Illustrating a new methodology identified as animality studies, The Birth of a Jungle explores animality at the turn of the twentieth century in the U.S. - a moment when shifts in what it meant to be both human and animal produced new ways of thinking about various human behaviors, includinghomosexuality, labor exploitation, and the lynching of black men. Throughout the study, Michael Lundblad explores what he identifies as the discourse of the jungle: Darwinist-Freudian constructions of human behavior that could be explained by animal instincts that were supposedly naturally violentin the name of survival and heterosexual in the name of reproduction. These new formulations were often contested rather than reinforced, however, in Progressive-Era literary and cultural texts. The Birth of a Jungle ultimately reveals the significance of animality in relation to the history ofsexuality, literary naturalism, and critical race studies, while highlighting how the discourse of the jungle remains a disturbing yet powerful presence today.

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Illustrating a new methodology identified as animality studies, The Birth of a Jungle explores animality at the turn of the twentieth century in the U.S. - a moment when shifts in what it meant to be both human and animal produced new ways of thinking about various human behaviors, includinghomosexuality, labor exploitation, and the ly...

Michael Lundblad is Associate Professor of English at the University of Oslo.

other books by Michael Lundblad

Species Matters: Humane Advocacy and Cultural Theory
Species Matters: Humane Advocacy and Cultural Theory

Kobo ebook|Jan 10 2012

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Format:PaperbackDimensions:234 pages, 9.21 × 6.18 × 0.91 inPublished:February 25, 2015Publisher:Oxford University PressLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:0190231580

ISBN - 13:9780190231583

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Table of Contents

IntroductionThe Nature of the Beast in U.S. CulturePart I: Epistemology of the Jungle1. Progressive-Era Sexuality and the Nature of the Beast in Henry James2. Between Species: Queering the Wolf in Jack LondonPart II: Survival of the Fittest Market3. The Octopus and the Corporation: Monstrous Animality in Norris, Spencer, and Carnegie4. The Working-Class Beast: Frank Norris and Upton SinclairPart III: The Evolution of Race5. Archaeology of a Humane Society: Animality, Savagery, Blackness6. Black Savage, White Animal: Tarzan's American JungleEpilogueAnimal Legacies: William Jennings Bryan and the Scopes "Monkey Trial"Works CitedIndex

Editorial Reviews

"This book offers an innovative conceptualization of 'animality' as a historical and theoretical paradigm that reshapes what we thought we knew about human-animal relations in the Progressive Era. The book takes risks as it aims to make important critical interventions. . . . It carves out aunique niche for itself by challenging us to consider how 'animality' pushes us past our own current conceptual critical categories for thinking about human-animal bonds." --Journal of American Studies