The fast-growing field of Animal Studies is a varied and much contested domain. Engagement with animals has encouraged both collaboration and conflict between researchers within the arts, humanities, and social sciences. Animal Encounters comprises a series of meetings not only between diverse beasts, but also between distinct disciplinary methods, theoretical approaches, and ethical positions. The essays here collected come together from literary and cultural studies, sociology and anthropology, ecocriticism and art history, philosophy and feminism, science and technology studies, history and posthumanism, to study that most familiar and most foreign of creatures, ‘the animal’. These encounters between leading practitioners in the field highlight the promise and potential of interspecies exchange and mutual provocation.
Tom Tyler, Ph.D. (2005) in Cultural Studies, University of Leeds, is Senior Lecturer in Philosophy and Culture at Oxford Brookes University, UK. He has published widely on animals in philosophy and critical theory. His book
CIFERAE: A Bestiary in Five Fingers is forthcoming.
Manuela S. Rossini, Ph.D. (2002) in English Literature, University of Basel, is a Project Manager at td-net (Network for Transdisciplinary Research) of the Swiss Academies. She has published in Early Modern Studies, Gender Studies and Science & Literature Studies.
"Challenging and provocative whilst extremely informative and academically sound, the volume represents a great opportunity for scholars working in the humanities to develop a clear and concise understanding of the main areas of discussion currently at the core of the field of animal studies."
Antennae Book Review
'The prototypically enacted and analyzed animal encounters in this volume impress through their variaty and individuality. The quality of each single contribution, the substantial number of leading figures in the field of animal studies and the coherence of the overall project of 'destabilizing human exceptionalism' make this volume a major intervention within the current debate about the changing relationship between humans and other animals. It provides an impressive survey of the positions people have take up and the diversity and dynamic of this interdisciplinary field.'
"The object of the collection of essays by leading figures in animal studies has been to test the limits of the discourse between animals and humans, to deliberately shock us into seeing behind the Disneyfied image of animals and
our all too ready acceptance of a weighted anthropomorphism. Several of the essays have semiotic themes explicitly or implicitly, all treat representation and relations, all of which in sum is fascinating, stimulating, and above all
informative; about encounters we ourselves have with animals, including those we would not like to talk about."
"Animal Encounters’ importance is not only that it contributes to the field of Animal Studies, but also that it offers accessible examples for promising pursuits in multiple directions. Tyler and Rossini have brought to the foreground questions and explorations that may not sit well with all who read them. The topics are contentious without being gratuitously provocative. This collection expands the field by complicating posthumanistic perceptions of difference and boundary while demonstrating the field’s social and theoretical relevance in terms that the novice and the expert may understand."
"It manages to be both a comprehensive and an eclectic introduction to a wide range of issues and will inspire many debates within seminars and across the field. This book works well on several levels, containing much to interest the established scholar while also providing a cogent and wide-ranging survey of perspectives and arguments suitable for a graduate-level course. The book is also a major contribution to the development and exploration of post-humanism in the arts and humanities."
Amy L. Fletcher,
Journal for Critical Animal Studies
Animal Encounters largely accomplishes its goal of presenting to readers the variaty of approaches to animal studies currectly circulating in the field, in a format that highlights their commonalities and differences and lends itself to critical engagement."
Contributors include: Carol J. Adams, Steve Baker, Monika Bakke, Pamela Banting, Jonathan Burt, Donna Haraway, Randy Malamud, Manuela Rossini, Laurie Shannon, Robyn Smith, Susan Squier and Tom Tyler.
All those interested in the history, philosophy, representation and treatment of animals in Western societies, as well as those concerned with the nature of the arts, humanities and posthumanities.