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Literary and Cultural Studies Beyond the Human

Edited by Michael Lundblad

Paperback (Forthcoming)
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New and cutting-edge work in animality studies, human-animal studies, and posthumanism

Representations of animality continue to proliferate in various kinds of literary and cultural texts. This pioneering volume explores the critical interface between animal and animality studies, marking out the terrain in relation to twentieth-century literature and film. The range of texts considered here is intentionally broad, answering questions like, how do contemporary writers such as Amitav Ghosh, Terry Tempest Williams, and Indra Sinha help us to think about not only animals but also humans as animals? What kinds of creatures are being constructed by contemporary artists such as Patricia Piccinini, Alexis Rockman, and Michael Pestel? How do ‘animalities’ animate such diverse texts as the poetry of two women publishing under the name of ‘Michael Field’, or an early film by Thomas Edison depicting the electrocution of a circus elephant named Topsy? Connecting these issues to fields as diverse as environmental studies and ecocriticism, queer theory, gender studies, feminist theory, illness and disability studies, postcolonial theory, and biopolitics, the volume also raises further questions about disciplinarity itself, while hoping to inspire further work ‘beyond the human’ in future interdisciplinary scholarship.

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Introduction: The End of the Animal: Literary and Cultural Animalities, Michael Lundblad
1. Each Time Unique: The Poetics of Extinction, Cary Wolfe
2. Posthuman New York: Ground Zero of the Anthropocene, Neel Ahuja
3. J. G. Ballard’s Dark Ecologies: Unsettling Nature, Animals, and Literary Tropes, Frida Beckman
4. Staging Humanimality: Patricia Piccinini and a Genealogy of Species Intermingling, Sara Orning
5. ‘Sparks Would Fly’: Electricity and the Spectacle of Animality, Anat Pick
6. The Nature of Birds, Women, and Cancer: Terry Tempest Williams’s Refuge and When Women Were Birds, Michael Lundblad
7. Animality, Biopolitics, and Umwelt in Amitav Ghosh’s The Hungry Tide, Robin Chen-Hsing Tsai
8. Looking the Beast in the Eye: Re-animating Meat in Nordic and British Food Culture, Karen Lykke Syse
9. Whym Chow, the ‘Michael Fields,’ and the Poetic Potential of Human-Animal Bonds, Colleen Glenney Boggs
10. Bestial Humans and Sexual Animals: Zoophilia in Law and Literature, Greg Garrard.

About the Author

Michael Lundblad is Professor of American Literature in the Department of Literature, Area Studies, and European Languages at the University of Oslo. He is the author of The Birth of a Jungle: Animality in Progressive-Era U.S. Literature and Culture (Oxford University Press, 2013), and the co-editor, with Marianne DeKoven, of Species Matters: Humane Advocacy and Cultural Theory (Columbia University Press, 2012).


Lundblad’s latest collection makes a provocative case for declaring an end to animal studies by turning critical attention to animalities, revealing how their properties and functions inform modern and contemporary representations of humans and other animals.

- Susan McHugh, University of New England

The anthology provides an exciting and ambitious collection of essays, exploring the politically and scholarly hot topic of animality and its role in understanding societal and environmental change, from a wide range of perspectives.

- Tora Holmberg, Uppsala University
[The] expansiveness is one of the collection’s great strengths and testifies to the fact that animal studies, like ecocriticism, its close cousin, has moved far beyond the confines of Anglo-American thought.
- Raymond Malewitz, Oregon State University, ALH Online Review, Series XV

Michael Lundblad’s edited collection, Animalities, is a timely intervention in literary and cultural criticism...

An emphasis on singularity and multiplicity resounds throughout the volume, just as it combines concern about the future with echoes of a long-distant past.

- Harriet Newnes, Lancaster University, The British Society for Literature and Science

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