Studies of Europe and North America
Edited by Ryan Hediger
Animals and War is the first collection of essays to explore its important, yet neglected, topic. Scholars from sociology, history, anthropology, and literary and cultural studies investigate the presence of animals in human wars. The essays analyze a wide range of phenomena, including the new militarization of bees, zoo animals during war, war dogs, Finish horses in World War II, Canadian war literature, and the effort to memorialize nonhuman war animals. Although animals are often forced to participate in human wars, their presence also signals human vulnerability and dependence. Several chapters demonstrate that in the frequently horrible circumstances of war, powerful sympathies nonetheless flourish between humans and animals. Animals and War thus exposes the often paradoxical contours of human-animal relationships.
An Interdisciplinary Exploration
Sarah McFarland and Ryan Hediger
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.