Speaking for Animals : Animal Autobiographical Writing book cover
1st Edition

Speaking for Animals
Animal Autobiographical Writing

Edited By

Margo DeMello

ISBN 9780415808996
Published November 7, 2012 by Routledge
302 Pages 23 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

For thousands of years, in the myths and folktales of people around the world, animals have spoken in human tongues. Western and non-Western literary and folkloric traditions are filled with both speaking animals, some of whom even narrate or write their own autobiographies. Animals speak, famously, in children’s stories and in cartoons and films, and today, social networking sites and blogs are both sites in which animals—primarily pets—write about their daily lives and interests. Speaking for Animals is a compilation of chapters written from a variety of disciplines that attempts to get a handle on this cross cultural and longstanding tradition of animal speaking and writing. It looks at speaking animals in literature, religious texts, poetry, social networking sites, comic books, and in animal welfare materials and even library catalogs, and addresses not just the "whys" of speaking animals, but the implications, for the animals and for ourselves.

Table of Contents

Introduction  Part I: (Mis) Representing Animals: The Limits and Possibilities of Representation  1. What Do We Want from Talking Animals? Reflections on Literary Representations of Animal Voices and Minds  Karla Armbruster  2. Our Animals, Ourselves: Representing Animal Minds in Timothy and The White Bone  Ryan Hediger  3. Investigations of a Dog, by a Dog: Between Anthropocentrism and Canine-Centrism  Naama Harel  Part II: Animals in Human Traditions  4. With Dogs and Lions as Witnesses: Speaking Animals in the History of Christianity  Laura Hobgood-Oster  5. The Speaking Animal: Non-Human Voices in Comics  Lisa Brown  6. Who'll Let the Dogs In? Animals, Authorship, and the Library Catalog  Nancy Babb  Part III: Animal Self, Human Self  7. Mistresses as Masters: Voicing Female Power Through the Subject Animal in Two Nineteenth-Century Animal Autobiographies  Monica Flegel  8. Catster.com: Creating Feline Identities Online  Jennifer L. Schally and Stephen R. Couch  9. Identity, Community and Grief: The Role of Bunspace in Human and Rabbit Lives  Margo DeMello  Part IV: Interspecies Communication and Connection  10. Talking Dogs, Companion Capital, and the Limits of Bio-Political Fitness  Merit Anglin  11. If We Could Talk to the Animals: On Changing the (Post) Human Subject  Kathy Rudy  Part V: Speaking and Knowing: Accessing Animal Subjectivity  13. The Power of Testimony: The Speaking Animal’s Plea for Understanding in a Selection of Eighteenth-Century British Poetry  Anne Milne  14. "Straight from the Horse’s Mouth": Equine Memoirs and Autobiographies  Marion Copeland  14. First Friend, First Words: Speaking of/to Talking Dogs  Jill Morstad  Part VI: The Ethics and Value of Speaking for Animals  15. Horse Talk: Horses and Human(e) Discourses  Natalie Corinne Hansen  16. Speaking For Dogs: The Role of Dog Biographies in Improving Canine Welfare in Bangkok, Thailand  Nikki Savvides  17. The Elephant Letters: The Story of Billy and Kani  G.A. Bradshaw

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Margo DeMello lectures at Central New Mexico Community College, teaching sociology, cultural studies, and anthropology.