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Presents a critical introduction to theoretical approaches to the animal in modern and contemporary philosophy. This text outlines the significance of the animal for thinkers including Friedrich Nietzsche, Martin Heidegger, Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze, Donna Haraway, Peter Singer, Giorgio Agamben and Rosi Braidotti. There are chapters on Theorising Human and Animal; Animals as Humans; Animal Ontology; Animal Life; Animal Ethics; and Future Directions in Animal Theory. Four case studies look at the representation of the animal in texts by Virginia Woolf, Angela Carter, Paul Auster and J. M. Coetzee.
Through reading Animal Theory you will gain a firm understanding of the complex theoretical debates on the question of the animal and their on going relevance to contemporary philosophy, animal studies, literary studies, and posthumanities more broadly. It guides the reader through the key concepts in animal theory; provides case studies of Virginia Woolf's Flush, Angela Carter's Burning Your Boats: The Collected Short Stories; Paul Auster's Timbuktu; and J M Coetzee's Disgrace; includes summary boxes and further reading lists at the end of each chapter and a glossary of key terms at the end of Animal Theory and intervenes in current debate by critically engaging with theoretical issues and suggesting fresh ways to consider the question of the animal.
Derek Ryan is Lecturer in English Literature at the University of Exeter.