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Academic & Professional Books  History & Other Humanities  Philosophy, Ethics & Religion

Zoo Studies A New Humanities

By: Tracy McDonald(Author), Daniel Vandersommers(Author)
360 pages, 38 b/w illustrations
Zoo Studies
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  • Zoo Studies ISBN: 9780773556911 Paperback Jun 2019 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks
  • Zoo Studies ISBN: 9780773556904 Hardback no dustjacket Jun 2019 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 1-2 weeks
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About this book

Do both the zoo and the mental hospital induce psychosis, as humans are treated as animals and animals are treated as humans? How have we looked at animals in the past, and how do we look at them today? How have zoos presented themselves, and their purpose, over time? In response to the emergence of environmental and animal studies, anthropologists, sociologists, philosophers, theorists, literature scholars, and historians around the world have begun to explore the significance of zoological parks, past and present.

Zoo Studies considers the modern zoo from a range of approaches and disciplines, united in a desire to blur the boundaries between human and nonhuman animals. The volume begins with an account of the first modern mental hospital, La Salpêtrière, established in 1656, and the first panoptical zoo, the menagerie at Versailles, created in 1662 by the same royal architect; the final chapter presents a choreographic performance that imagines the Toronto Zoo as a place where the human body can be inspired by animal bodies. From beginning to end, through interdisciplinary collaboration, this volume decentres the human subject and offers alternative ways of thinking about zoos and their inhabitants. This collection immerses readers in the lives of animals and their experiences of captivity and asks us to reflect on our own assumptions about both humans and animals.

An original and groundbreaking work, Zoo Studies will change the way readers see nonhuman animals and themselves.


Figures   ix
Acknowledgments   xiii

Introduction / Daniel Vandersommers and Tracy McDonald   3
1. Psychotic Humans, Psychotic Animals: The Zoo and the Mental Hospital, 1656-1794 / Matthew Senior   19
2. The Antelope Collectors / Nigel Rothfels   45
3. Failed Zoo Experiments: Primatology, Aeronautics, and the Animality of “Modern” Science, 1891-1903 / Daniel Vandersommers   65
4. Sculpting Dinah with the Blunt Tools of the Historian / Tracy McDonald   93
5. Stereoscopic Animals: Spectatorship, Kodiak Bears, and the Keystone Animal Set / Zeb Tortorici   119
6. “Try Telling That to the Polar Bears”: Rationing and Resistance at the Wartime Zoo / John Kinder   145
7. Gust (ca 1952-1988), or a History from Below of the Changing Zoo / Violette Pouillard   167
8. Child Stars at the Zoo: The Rise and Fall of Polar Bear Knut / Guro Flinterud   191
9. Pandas and the Reproduction of Race and Heterosexuality in the Zoo / Marianna Szczygielska   211
10. Flying Penguins in Japan’s Northernmost Zoo / Takashi Ito   237
11. Al Gore, Blackfish, and Me: Eco-activist Progress and Prospects for the Future / Randy Malamud   262
12. Reorienting the Space of Containment, or from Zoosphere to Noösphere and Beyond / Ron Broglio   276
13. Zoomorphic Bodies: Moving and Being Moved by Animals / Jonathan Osborn   294

Bibliography   313
Contributors   333
Index   337

Customer Reviews


Tracy McDonald is an associate professor of history at McMaster University. Daniel Vandersommers is an assistant teaching professor at the Indiana Academy for Science, Mathematics, and Humanities at Ball State University.

By: Tracy McDonald(Author), Daniel Vandersommers(Author)
360 pages, 38 b/w illustrations
Media reviews

– Winner, Outstanding Academic Title, Choice, 2020

"This is one of the first attempts to propose ideas and perspectives for a distinct field of zoo studies. There is a clear editorial voice here and a sense of issues being rethought and reworked. The contributors take the reader into the zoo in interesting ways, and beyond the zoo to explore issues such as conservation and cultural politics."
– Garry Marvin, University of Roehampton, London and co-editor of the Routledge Handbook of Human-Animal Studies

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