While many scholars who write about animals deal with animal agency in some way, this volume is the first to position the question of nonhuman agency as the primary focus of inquiry. Section I presents studies of actual animals demonstrating agency; Section II moves agency into new terrain while considering key representations of animal agency in literature; Section III analyzes animals as mediators and as conveyances of human-to-human communication;and Section IV investigates the agency of beings who defy conventional species categories. The Envoi demonstrates how the microscopic polyp is interwoven into notions of agency and mythical superagency. This volume's interdisciplinary explorations press hard on issues of agency to open up space for more questions about how we can understand relationships between the human and the nonhuman.
Sarah E. McFarland, PhD (2005) in English, University of Oregon, is assistant professor at Northwestern State University. Her publications examine how representations of animals are used to construct human conceptions of animal subjectivity, gender privilege, and contemporary environmental ethics.
Ryan Hediger, PhD (2005) in English, University of Oregon, is visiting assistant professor at La Salle University. His research focuses on the rhetorical function of literary and cultural objects in 20th-century and contemporary America, with emphasis on animals, ethics, and environment.
Table of contents
Contributors include: Rebecca Bishop, Matthew Candelaria, J.J. Clark, Debra Durham, Ryan Hediger, David Lulka, Jed Mayer, Sarah E. McFarland, Debra Merskin, Dipika Nath, Rebecca Onion, Stephanie Rowe, Shelly R. Scott, Laurence Simmons, Traci Warkentin, and Cat Yampell.
Those interested in animal studies, animals in literature, film, popular culture, and theory, as well as ecocritics, cultural critics, environmentalists and non-academics interested in animals and nature.