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.
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)
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.