Affect, Space and Animals: 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Affect, Space and Animals

1st Edition

Edited by Jopi Nyman, Nora Schuurman


202 pages | 2 B/W Illus.

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In recent years, animals have entered the focus of the social and cultural sciences, resulting in the emergence of the new field of human–animal studies. This book investigates the relationships between humans and animals, paying particular attention to the role of affect, space, and animal subjectivity in diverse human–animal encounters. Written by a team of international scholars, contributions explore current debates concerning animal representation, performativity, and relationality in various texts and practices.

Part I explores how animals are framed as affective, through four case studies that deal with climate change, human–bovine relationships, and human–horse interaction in different contemporary and historical contexts. Part II expands on the issue of relationality and locates encounters within place, mapping the different spaces where human–animal encounters take place. Part III then examines the construction of animal subjectivity and agency to emphasize the way in which animals are conscious and sentient beings capable of experiencing feelings, emotions, and intentions, and active agents whose actions have meaning for the animals themselves.

This book highlights the importance of the ways in which affect enables animal agency and subjectivity to emerge in encounters between humans and animals in different contexts, leading to different configurations. It contributes not only to debates concerning the role of animals in society but also to the epistemological development of the field of human–animal studies.

Table of Contents

1 Introduction Jopi Nyman and Nora Schuurman PART I Being with Animals: Affect 2. Never-ending Stories, Ending Narratives: Polar Bears, Climate Change Populism, and the Recent History of British Nature Documentary Film Graham Huggan 3. Cattle Tending in the "Good Old Times": Human–Cow Relationships in Late Nineteenth-Century and Early Twentieth-Century Finland Taija Kaarlenkaski 4. In Pursuit of Meaningful Human–Horse Relations: Responsible Horse Ownership in a Leisure Context Nora Schuurman and Alex Franklin 5. "… and Horses": The Affectionate Bond between Horses and Humans/Gods in Homer’s Iliad Tua Korhonen PART II Mapping Human–Animal Spaces: Relationality 6. Re-reading Sentimentalism in Anna Sewell’s Black Beauty: Affect, Performativity, and Hybrid Spaces Jopi Nyman 7. Seeing the Animal Otherwise: An Uexküllian Reading of Kerstin Ekman’s The Dog Maria Olaussen 8. Transcultural Affect: Human–Horse Relations in Joe Johnston’s Hidalgo, Steven Spielberg’s War Horse, and Belá Tarr’s The Turin Horse Sissy Helff 9. What’s Underfoot: Emplacing Identity in Practice among Horse–Human Pairs Anita Maurstad, Dona Lee Davis, and Sarah Dean Part III From Objects to Subjects: Exploring Animal Subjectivity 10. Moving (with)in Affect: Horses, People, and Tolerance Lynda Birke and Jo Hockenhull 11. Companionable Human–Animal Relationality: A Reading of a Buddhist Jātaka (Rebirth) Tale Teuvo Laitila 12. Passing the Cattle Car: Anthropomorphism, Animal Suffering, and James Agee’s "A Mother’s Tale" Jouni Teittinen 13. An Avian–Human art? Affective and Effective Relations between Birdsong and Poetry Karoliina Lummaa Part IV Methodological Afterword 14. Ethnographic Research in a Changing Cultural Landscape Karen Dalke and Harry Wels

About the Editors

Jopi Nyman is Head of English at the School of Humanities at the University of Eastern Finland.

Nora Schuurman is Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Eastern Finland.

About the Series

Routledge Human-Animal Studies Series

The last fifteen years or so have seen an extraordinary growth in new and original social science research into human-animal relations. The ‘animal turn’ as some have referred to it is driven by a strong sense that though essential partners in human worlds, animals have long been ignored by a predominantly humanist social science. Although there is a growing literature on human-animal studies, particularly within the humanities but increasingly including geography, sociology, anthropology, the crucial interdisciplinary cross-overs that have so animated animal studies research have not been easily served in the publication strategies of either major journals or book publishers.

The new Routledge Human-Animal Studies Series offers a much-needed forum for original, innovative and cutting edge research and analysis to explore human animal relations across the social sciences and humanities. Titles within the series are empirically and/or theoretically informed and explore a range of dynamic, captivating and highly relevant topics, drawing across the humanities and social sciences in an avowedly interdisciplinary perspective. This series will encourage new theoretical perspectives and highlight ground-breaking research that reflects the dynamism and vibrancy of current animal studies. The series is aimed at upper-level undergraduates, researchers and research students as well as academics and policy-makers across a wide range of social science and humanities disciplines.

To submit a proposal for the series please contact Faye Leerink ( and Henry Buller (

Learn more…

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
SCIENCE / Earth Sciences / Geography
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Human Geography