Although Cultural Studies has directed sustained attacks against sexism and racism, the question of the animal has lagged behind developments in broader society with regard to animal suffering in factory farming, product testing, and laboratory experimentation, as well in zoos, rodeos, circuses, and public aquariums. The contributors to Animal Subjects are scholars and writers from diverse perspectives whose work calls into question the boundaries that divide the animal kingdom from humanity, focusing on the medical, biological, cultural, philosophical, and ethical concerns between non-human animals and ourselves. The first of its kind to feature the work of Canadian scholars and writers in this emergent field, this collection aims to include the non-human-animal question as part of the ethical purview of Cultural Studies and to explore the question in interdisciplinary terms.
Publisher: Wilfrid Laurier University Press
Number of pages: 324
Weight: 496 g
Dimensions: 228 x 152 x 25 mm
Animal Subjects...is...a major contribution to the overlapping interdisciplinary field variously named animal studies, human-animal studies, or even critical animal studies, depending on one's ethical and political commitments. The text is unique in that it treads a line between abstract academic and more accessible and overtly political writing. Consequently, the text will likely make people nervous on both sides of the current debates about what role, if any, advocacy should have within animal studies. On one hand, there is a fear that rigorous scholarship often suffers under the desire to ameliorate or abolish animals' suffering and use. On the other, there is a concern that the animals of animal studies are now regarded as the next reservoir of interesting topics to tap, without any kind of accountability to the billions of non-human beings who are harmed through institutionalized animal practices. Fortunately, Animal Subjects works against the notion that careful scholarship and political weight are inversely proportional.... The insightful text demands that we confront the limitations and myriad contradictions in various schools of thought, such as ecology, sociobiology, legal discourse and philosophy among others...ground-breaking.... Hopefully, Animal Subjects is just the beginning.''--Lauren E.J. Corman "Topia, 21, August 2009 "
Animal Subjects is important for the authors' meaningful engagement with this question of the animal and for its implicit and explicit Canadian context.... Castricano's introductory chapter, outlining the links between cultural studies and animal oppression, is one of the best introductions to the field I have read.... I would be most comfortable using Animal Subjects as a text in an introductory, undergraduate animal-studies course as it is a book that is suited for those interested in how scholars, activists, and professionals (not that the three are ever mutually exclusive) working broadly across disciplines are critiquing and redefining both the boundaries of cultural studies and the more-than-human. Additionally, given the high proportion of Canadian authors and some explicitly Canadian settings, this geographic perspective makes it unique within the existing field of publications.''--Gavan P.L. Watson "Canadian Literature, Summer 2010 "