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  • Edited by Derek Ryan, University of Kent, Canterbury
Cambridge University Press
Online publication date:
October 2023
Print publication year:
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Book description

The Cambridge Companion to Literature and Animals surveys the role of animals across literary history and opens conversations on what literature can teach us about more-than-human life. Leading international scholars comprehensively explore how engaging with creatures of various kinds alters our understanding of what it means to write and read, and why this is important for thinking about a series of cultural, ethical, political, and scientific developments and controversies. The first part of the book offers historically rooted arguments about medieval metamorphosis, early modern fleshiness, eighteenth-century imperialism, Romantic sympathy, Victorian racial politics, modernist otherness and contemporary forms. The second part poses questions that cut across periods, concerning habitat and extinction, captivity and spectatorship, race and (post-)coloniality, sexuality and gender, religion and law, health and wealth. In doing so, this companion places animals at the centre of literary studies and literature at the heart of urgent debates in the growing field of animal studies.

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