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Animals in Human Histories


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This volume delves into the realm between representative images and real animals. It is a historical inquiry into human interaction with the animals we eat, pamper, experiment on, and imagine, as they have been variously domesticated, slaughtered, loved, studied, and made into icons of human invention. Common assumptions and experiences with animals have entered into the functioning and conceptualizing of life, yet these are historically and culturally contingent. The essays in this volume unveil the ways in which human-animal relationships reveal the interhuman structures of the cultures in which they are formed.
By using animals as a lens, they refocus our awareness of the ways in which humans have allotted resources, gathered knowledge, and structured families. The treatment of animals is often a guide to the treatment of people within a society, while the perceived 'stewardship' of humans over animals has helped shape the broader environment that both human and nonhuman animals share. The authors tackle their subject from a variety of levels -- popular, scientific, and economic. The essays explore the vast borderland between human ideas and physical nature regarding animal representation.

Contributors include Richard W. Burkhardt, Jr., Jonathan Burt, Ken C. Erickson, Katherine C. Grier, Richard C. Hoffmann, Andrew C. Isenberg, Jacqueline Milliet, John Solomon Otto, Karen A. Rader, Harriet Ritvo, Nigel Rothfels, Kenneth J. Shapiro, and Edward I. Steinhart.

Mary Henninger-Voss is an Associate of the Shelby Cullom Davis Center for Historical Studies, Princeton University.


Excellent essays. . . a landmark volume. ANTHROZOOS


First Published: 10 Dec 2002
13 Digit ISBN: 9781580461214
10 black and white illustrations
Pages: 506
Size: 6 x 9
Binding: Hardback
Imprint: University of Rochester Press

Details updated on 05 Oct 2015


  • 1  Carp, Cods, Connections: New Fisheries in the Medieval European Economy and Environment
  • 2  Cattle-Grazing in the Southeastern United States, 1670-1949: An Economic and Social Adaptation
  • 3  Beef in a Box: Killing Cattle on the High Plain
  • 4  The Wild and the Tamed: Indians, Euroamericans, and the Destruction of the Bison
  • 5  The Imperial Hunt in Colonial Kenya, c. 1880-1909
  • 6  Catching Animals
  • 7  Constructing the Zoo: Science, Society, and Animal Nature at the Paris Menagerie, 1794-1838
  • 8  Violent Health and the Moving Image: The London Zoo and Monkey Hill
  • 9  The Sincerest Form of Flatter
  • 10  "The Eden of Home": Changing Understandings of Cruelty and Kindness to Animals in Middle-Class American Households, 1820-1900
  • 11  A Comparative Study of Women's Activities in the Domestication of Animals
  • 12  The Multiple Meanings of Laboratory Animals: Standardizing Mice for American Cancer Research, 1910-1950
  • 13  A Rodent for Your Thoughts: The Social Construction of Animal Models