ANIMALS AND THE HUMAN IMAGINATION

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Animals And The Human Imagination

Author : Aaron S. Gross
ISBN : 9780231527767
Genre : Nature
File Size : 25.41 MB
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Human beings have long imagined their subjectivity, ethics, and ancestry with and through animals, yet not until the mid-twentieth century did contemporary thought reflect critically on animals' significance in human self-conception. Thinkers such as French philosopher Jacques Derrida, South African novelist J. M. Coetzee, and American theorist Donna Haraway have initiated rigorous inquiries into the question of the animal, now blossoming in a number of directions. It is no longer strange to say that if animals did not exist, we would have to invent them. This interdisciplinary and cross-cultural collection reflects the growth of animal studies as an independent field and the rise of "animality" as a critical lens through which to analyze society and culture, on a par with race and gender. Essays consider the role of animals in the human imagination and the imagination of the human; the worldviews of indigenous peoples; animal-human mythology in early modern China; and political uses of the animal in postcolonial India. They engage with the theoretical underpinnings of the animal protection movement, representations of animals in children's literature, depictions of animals in contemporary art, and the philosophical positioning of the animal from Aristotle to Derrida. The strength of this companion lies in its timeliness and contextual diversity, which makes it essential reading for students and researchers while further developing the parameters of the discipline.
Category: Nature

Zoologies

Author : Alison Hawthorne Deming
ISBN : 1571313486
Genre : Nature
File Size : 79.22 MB
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"Humans were surrounded by other animals from the beginning of time: they were food, clothes, adversaries, companions, jokes, and gods. And yet, our companions in evolution are leaving the world - both as physical beings and spiritual symbols - and not returning. In this collection of linked essays, Alison Hawthorne Deming asks, and seeks to answer: what does the disappearance of animals mean for human imagination and existence? Moving from mammoth hunts to dying house cats, she explores profound questions about what it means to be animal. What is inherent in animals that leads us to destroy, and what that leads us toward peace? As human animals, how does art both define us as a species and how does it emerge primarily from our relationship with other species? The reader emerges with a transformed sense of how the living world around us has defined and continues to define us in a powerful way"--
Category: Nature

The Cat And The Human Imagination

Author : Katharine M. Rogers
ISBN : 0472087509
Genre : Art
File Size : 23.84 MB
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An intelligent, amusing, and affectionate look at cats in history, literature, and art
Category: Art

The Question Of The Animal And Religion

Author : Aaron S. Gross
ISBN : 9780231538374
Genre : Nature
File Size : 89.6 MB
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Through an absorbing investigation into recent, high-profile scandals involving one of the largest kosher slaughterhouses in the world, located unexpectedly in Postville, Iowa, Aaron S. Gross makes a powerful case for elevating the category of the animal in the study of religion. Major theorists have almost without exception approached religion as a phenomenon that radically marks humans off from other animals, but Gross rejects this paradigm, instead matching religion more closely with the life sciences to better theorize human nature. Gross begins with a detailed account of the scandals at Agriprocessors and their significance for the American and international Jewish community. He argues that without a proper theorization of "animals and religion," we cannot fully understand religiously and ethically motivated diets and how and why the events at Agriprocessors took place. Subsequent chapters recognize the significance of animals to the study of religion in the work of Ernst Cassirer, Emile Durkheim, Mircea Eliade, Jonathan Z. Smith, and Jacques Derrida and the value of indigenous peoples' understanding of animals to the study of religion in our daily lives. Gross concludes by extending the Agribusiness scandal to the activities at slaughterhouses of all kinds, calling attention to the religiosity informing the regulation of "secular" slaughterhouses and its implications for our relationship with and self-imagination through animals.
Category: Nature

Deadly Powers

Author : Paul A. Trout
ISBN : 9781616145026
Genre : Nature
File Size : 40.49 MB
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In this illuminating and evocative exploration of the origin and function of storytelling, the author goes beyond the work of mythologist Joseph Campbell, arguing that mythmaking evolved as a cultural survival strategy for coping with the constant fear of being killed and eaten by predators. Beginning nearly two million years ago in the Pleistocene era, the first stories, Trout argues, functioned as alarm calls, warning fellow group members about the carnivores lurking in the surroundings. At the earliest period, before the development of language, these rudimentary "stories" would have been acted out. When language appeared with the evolution of the ancestral human brain, stories were recited, memorized, and much later written down as the often bone-chilling myths that have survived to this day. This book takes the reader through the landscape of world mythology to show how our more recent ancestors created myths that portrayed animal predators in four basic ways: as monsters, as gods, as benefactors, and as role models. Each incarnation is a variation of the fear-management technique that enabled early humans not only to survive but to overcome their potentially incapacitating fear of predators. In the final chapter, Trout explores the ways in which our visceral fear of predators is played out in the movies, where both animal and human predators serve to probe and revitalize our capacity to detect and survive danger. Anyone with an interest in mythology, archaeology, folk tales, and the origins of contemporary storytelling will find this book an exciting and provocative exploration into the natural and psychological forces that shaped human culture and gave rise to storytelling and mythmaking.
Category: Nature

The Animal Part

Author : Mark Payne
ISBN : 9780226650852
Genre : Literary Criticism
File Size : 28.20 MB
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How can literary imagination help us engage with the lives of other animals? The question represents one of the liveliest areas of inquiry in the humanities, and Mark Payne seeks to answer it by exploring the relationship between human beings and other animals in writings from antiquity to the present. Ranging from ancient Greek poets to modernists like Ezra Pound and William Carlos Williams, Payne considers how writers have used verse to communicate the experience of animal suffering, created analogies between human and animal societies, and imagined the kind of knowledge that would be possible if human beings could see themselves as animals see them. The Animal Part also makes substantial contributions to the emerging discourse of the posthumanities. Payne offers detailed accounts of the tenuousness of the idea of the human in ancient literature and philosophy and then goes on to argue that close reading must remain a central practice of literary study if posthumanism is to articulate its own prehistory. For it is only through fine-grained literary interpretation that we can recover the poetic thinking about animals that has always existed alongside philosophical constructions of the human. In sum, The Animal Part marks a breakthrough in animal studies and offers a significant contribution to comparative poetics.
Category: Literary Criticism

Animals In Young Adult Fiction

Author : Walter Hogan
ISBN : 9780810869424
Genre : Juvenile Nonfiction
File Size : 31.2 MB
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Of the many themes occurring in young adult literature, one that bears more extensive exploration is the adolescent-animal connection. Although substantial critical commentary has addressed children's animal stories and animals in adult fiction, very few studies have been devoted to adolescent-animal encounters. In Animals in Young Adult Fiction, Walter Hogan examines several hundred novels and stories to explore the ways in which animals are represented in these works. In additional to providing an historical survey, Hogan looks at both realistic fiction and speculative works, including fantasy, supernatural, horror, and science fiction. Hogan reviews stories that feature wild animal encounters, stories centered on relationships with horses, dogs, and other working and performing animals, and those featuring relationships with pets. Drawing upon established scholarship, this book examines human-animal relationships from multiple angles, making it an invaluable resource for librarians, teachers, and students of children's and young adult literature.
Category: Juvenile Nonfiction

Last Child In The Woods

Author : Richard Louv
ISBN : 9781848877498
Genre : Family & Relationships
File Size : 38.94 MB
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This huge international bestseller, fully revised for non-American readers, is now in ebook. Last Child in the Woods shows how our children have become increasingly alienated and distant from nature, why this matters, and what we can do to make a difference. It is unsentimental, rigorous and utterly original. 'A cri de coeur for our children' Guardian Camping in the garden, riding bikes through the woods, climbing trees, collecting bugs, picking wildflowers, running through piles of autumn leaves... These are the things childhood memories are made of. But for a whole generation of today's children the pleasures of a free-range childhood are missing, and their indoor habits contribute to epidemic obesity, attention-deficit disorder, isolation and childhood depression. This timely book shows how our children have become increasingly alienated and distanced from nature, why this matters and how we can make a difference. Last Child in the Woods is a clarion call, brilliantly written, compelling and irresistibly persuasive - a book that will change minds and lives.
Category: Family & Relationships

The Oxford Handbook Of Atheism

Author : Stephen Bullivant
ISBN : 9780191667404
Genre : Religion
File Size : 82.42 MB
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Recent books by, among others, Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, and Christopher Hitchens have thrust atheism firmly into the popular, media, and academic spotlight. This so-called New Atheism is arguably the most striking development in western socio-religious culture of the past decade or more. As such, it has spurred fertile (and often heated) discussions both within, and between, a diverse range of disciplines. Yet atheism, and the New Atheism, are by no means co-extensive. Interesting though it indeed is, the New Atheism is a single, historically and culturally specific manifestation of positive atheism (the that there is/are no God/s), which is itself but one form of a far deeper, broader, and more significant global phenomenon. The Oxford Handbook of Atheism is a pioneering edited volume, exploring atheism—understood in the broad sense of 'an absence of belief in the existence of a God or gods'—in all the richness and diversity of its historical and contemporary expressions. Bringing together an international team of established and emerging scholars, it probes the varied manifestations and implications of unbelief from an array of disciplinary perspectives (philosophy, history, sociology, anthropology, demography, psychology, natural sciences, gender and sexuality studies, literary criticism, film studies, musicology) and in a range of global contexts (Western Europe, North America, post-communist Europe, the Islamic world, Japan, India). Both surveying and synthesizing previous work, and presenting the major fruits of innovative recent research, the handbook is set to be a landmark text for the study of atheism.
Category: Religion

Pretending And Imagination In Animals And Children

Author : Robert W. Mitchell
ISBN : 1139439448
Genre : Science
File Size : 27.27 MB
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It is well known that children's activities are full of pretending and imagination, but it is less appreciated that animals can also show similar activities. Originally published in 2002, this book focuses on comparing and contrasting children's and animals' pretenses and imaginative activities. In the text, overviews of research present conflicting interpretations of children's understanding of the psychology of pretense, and describe sociocultural factors which influence children's pretenses. Studies of nonhuman primates provide examples of their pretenses and other simulative activities, explore their representational and imaginative capacities and compare their skills with children. Although the psychological requirements for pretending are controversial, evidence presented in this volume suggests that great apes and even monkeys may share capacities for imagination with children, and that children's early pretenses may be less psychological than they appear.
Category: Science