By viewing animals as authentic and autonomous historical agents who had a real impact on the world around them, this book concentrates on an under-examined but crucial aspect of the human-animal relationship: interaction.
Each chapter provides scholarly debate on the methods and challenges of the study of interspecies interactions, and together they offer an insight into the part that humans and animals have played in shaping each other’s lives, as well as encouraging reflection on the directions that human-animal relations may yet take. Beginning with an exploration of Samuel Pepys’ often emotional relationships with the many animals that he knew, the chapters cover a wide range of domestic, working, and wild animals and include case studies on carnival animals, cattle, dogs, horses, apes, snakes, sharks, and invertebrates. These case studies of human-animal interactions are further brought to life through visual representation, by the inclusion of over 20 images within the book.
From ‘sleeve cats’ to lion fights, Interspecies Interactions encompasses a broad spectrum of relationships between humans and animals. Covering topics such as use, emotion, cognition, empire, status, and performance across several centuries and continents, it is essential reading for all students and scholars of historical animal studies.
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