Animal Studies Journal


In the latest text in Reaktion Books’ Animal Series, art critic and theorist Tessa Laird’s Bat provides a cultural history of the species, including a sociological critique of the place of bats in human history. Seeking to correct what she perceives to be inaccurate, yet unrelentingly persistent representations of these animals, Laird covers everything from bat biology, to the bat trope in popular culture, to echolocation and the figure of the bat in European art and literature. Whilst Laird does discuss the perhaps more obvious references, such as Batman and Dracula at length, she also delves into our collective unconscious to examine what motivates the moral panics bats so frequently, historically and still currently, draw to the surface.