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Creature Discomfort

Fauna-criticism, Ethics and the Representation of Animals in Spanish American Fiction and Poetry

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Scott M. DeVries

In Creature Discomfort: Fauna-criticism, Ethics, and the Representation of Animals in Spanish American Fiction and Poetry, Scott M. DeVries uncovers a tradition in Spanish American literature where animal-ethical representations anticipate many of the most pressing concerns from present debates in animal studies. The author documents moments from the corpus that articulate long-standing positions such as a defense of animal rights or advocacy for liberationism, that engage in literary philosophical meditations concerning mind theory and animal sentience, and that anticipate current ideas from Critical Animal Studies including the rejection of hierarchical differentiations between the categories human and nonhuman.

Creature Discomfort innovates the notion of “fauna-criticism” as a new literary approach within animal studies; this kind of analysis emphasizes the reframing of literary history to expound animal ethical positions from literary texts, both those that have been considered canonical as well as those that have long been neglected. In this study, DeVries employs fauna-criticism to examine nonhuman sentience, animal interiority, and other ethical issues such as the livestock and pet industries, circuses, zoos, hunting, and species extinction in fictional narrative and poetry from the nineteenth century, modernista, Regional, indigenista, and contemporary periods of Spanish American literature.

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Evolution and Human Culture

Texts and Contexts

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Gregory F. Tague

Evolution and Human Culture argues that values, beliefs, and practices are expressions of individual and shared moral sentiments. Much of our cultural production stems from what in early hominins was a caring tendency, both the care to share and a self-care to challenge others. Topics cover prehistory, mind, biology, morality, comparative primatology, art, and aesthetics. The book is valuable to students and scholars in the arts, including moral philosophers, who would benefit from reading about scientific developments that impact their fields. For biologists and social scientists the book provides a window into how scientific research contributes to understanding the arts and humanities. The take-home point is that culture does not transcend nature; rather, culture is an evolved moral behavior.
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Dinesh Wadiwel

Are non-human animals our friends or enemies? In this provocative book, Dinesh Wadiwel argues that our mainstay relationships with billions of animals are essentially hostile. The War against Animals asks us to interrogate this sustained violence across its intersubjective, institutional and epistemic dimensions.

Drawing from Foucault, Spivak and Derrida, The War against Animals argues that our sovereign claim of superiority over other animals is founded on nothing else but violence. Through innovative readings of Locke and Marx, Dinesh Wadiwel argues that property in animals represents a bio-political conquest that aims to secure animals as the “spoils of war.” The goal for pro-animal advocacy must be to challenge this violent sovereignty and recognize animal resistance through forms of counter-conduct and truce.