The city includes opportunities as well as constraints for humans and other animals alike. Urban animals are often subjected to complaints; they transgress geographical, legal, and cultural ordering systems, while roaming the city in what are often perceived as uncontrolled ways. But they are also objects of care, conservation practices, and bio-political interventions. What, then, are the "more-than-human" experiences of living in a city? What does it mean to consider spatial formations and urban politics from the perspective of human/animal relations?
This book draws on a number of case studies to explore urban controversies around human/animal relations, in particular companion animals: free-ranging dogs, homeless and feral cats, urban animal hoarding, and "crazy cat ladies." The book explores "zoocities," the theoretical framework in which animal studies meets urban studies, resulting in a reframing of urban relations and space. Through the expansion of urban theories beyond the human, and the resuscitation of sociological theories through animal studies literature, the book seeks to uncover the phenomenon of "humanimal crowding," both as threats to be policed and as potentially subversive. In this book, a number of urban controversies and crowding technologies are analyzed, finally pointing at alternative modes of trans-species urban politics through the promises of humanimal crowding—of proximity and collective agency. The exclusion of animals may be an urban ideology, aiming at social order, but close attention to the level of practice reveals a much more diverse, disordered, and perhaps disturbing experience.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1: Urban Animals Part I: Animals in the City Chapter 2: Bodies on the Beach. Allowability and the Politics of Place Chapter 3: Stranger Cats. Homelessness and Ferality in the City Part II: HumAnimal Transgressions Chapter 4: Verminizing. Making Sense of Urban Animal Hoarding Chapter 5: Feline Femininity. Emplacing Cat Ladies Part III: The Promises of Crowding in ZooCities Chapter 6: Beyond Crowd Control Chapter 7: Open Endings (with Katja Aglert)
Tora Holmberg is an Associate Professor in Sociology and Senior Lecturer as at the Department of Sociology and the Institute for Housing and Urban Research, Uppsala University, Sweden.