Perspectives on Human-Animal Communication: Internatural Communication, 1st Edition (Hardback) book cover

Perspectives on Human-Animal Communication

Internatural Communication, 1st Edition

Edited by Emily Plec


272 pages

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Despite its inherent interdisciplinarity, the Communication discipline has remained an almost entirely anthropocentric enterprise. This book represents early and prominent forays into the subject of human-animal communication from a Communication Studies perspective, an effort that brings a discipline too long defined by that fallacy of division, human or nonhuman, into conversation with animal studies, biosemiotics, and environmental communication, as well as other recent intellectual and activist movements for reconceptualizing relationships and interactions in the biosphere. This book is a much-needed point of entry for future scholarship on animal-human communication, as well as the whole range of communication possibilities among the more-than-human world. It offers a groundbreaking transformation of higher education by charting new directions for communication research, policy formation, and personal and professional practices involving animals.


"Plec’s anthology is organized around three ideas that deeply engage the reader, complicity, implication, and coherence. […] In addition to implicating the reader, Perspectives on Human-Animal Communication would be a great text to teach from at any level. […] The issues raised on these pages are imperative for creating a sustainable and humane world." --Julie Kalil Schutten, Environmental Communication

"Emily Plec’s collection of essays on human-animal communication presents a variety of views on the borderlands where species meet and interact, and how humans communicate on behalf of animals, about animals, and sometimes with animals. These interactions present a rich tapestry of persuasive efforts – some performed by agents, others by mediators for those perceived as voiceless in the mainstream of human communications theory." --Alex C. Parrish, Journal for Critical Animal Studies

Table of Contents

1. Perspectives on Human-Animal Communication: An Introduction, Emily Plec Part I: Complicity 2. Animals as Media: Speaking Through/With Nonhuman Beings, Tony E. Adams3. Beached Whales: Tracing the Rhetorical Force of Extraordinary Material Articulations, Deborah Cox Callister 4. Framing Primate Testing: How Supporters and Opponents Construct Meaning and Shape the Debate, Joseph Abidaid 5. Absorbent and Yellow and Porous is He: Animated Animal Bodies in SpongeBob Squarepants, Shana Heinricy Part II: Implication 6. Stepping Up to the Veggie Plate: Framing Veganism as Living Your Values, Carrie Packwood Freeman 7. The "Golden" Bond: Exploring Human-Canine Relationships with a Retriever, Nick Trujillo 8. Communicating Social Support to Grieving Clients: The Veterinarians’ View, Mary Pilgram 9. Flocking Bird-Human Ritual Communication, Leigh A. Bernacchi 10. Banging on the Divide: Cultural Reflection and Refraction at the Zoo, Tema Milstein Part III: Coherence 11. Listening with the Third Eye: A Phenomenological Ethnography of Animal Communicators, Susan Hafen 12. Thinking through Ravens: Human Hunters, Wolf-birds, and Embodied Communication, Pat Munday 13. Un-defining Man: The Case for Symbolic Animal Communication,Stephen J. Lind 14. Difference without hierarchy: Narrative Paradigms and Critical Animal Studies, A Meditation on Communication, Susannah Bunny LeBaron

About the Editor

Emily Plec is Professor of Communication Studies at Western Oregon University, US.

About the Series

Routledge Studies in Rhetoric and Communication

This series is our home for cutting-edge scholarly studies and edited collections in the fields of rhetoric and writing studies. Interdisciplinary in approaches, these titles are characterized by dynamic interventions into established subjects and innovative studies on emerging topics.

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Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
LANGUAGE ARTS & DISCIPLINES / Communication Studies
NATURE / Animals / General