Animal Studies Journal


Sally Borrell


If globalisation can be described as an evolution of imperialism on a global scale, as postcolonial theorist Bill Ashcroft suggests, what does that mean for contemporary writing about animals? This paper examines how questions of globalisation inflect the representation of animals in postcolonial fiction, taking the examples of Julia Leigh’s The Hunter(Australia), the recent film of the same name, and Laurence Fearnley’s Butler’s Ringlet(New Zealand). Their approaches differ in that both versions of The Hunter emphasise dangers associated with globalisation, whereas different reactions are in tension in Butler’s Ringlet. However, I argue that in each case responses to animals figure as a strategy in the negotiation of globalisation, and encourage reassessments of local species relations in the process. I explore the implications of this approach to animals in terms of comments by Zygmunt Bauman about the potential for pluralism within globalisation.