Lundblad’s introduction defines and separates human-animal studies, animality studies and posthumanism. While there are perhaps more cross-overs than Lundblad suggests, the introduction provides a lucid discussion of these fields, sub-fields and their provenance. In addition, each essay in Animalities locates its analysis in relation to these categorizations. Cary Wolfe’s essay on ‘The Poetics of Extinction’ considers the case of Martha, an individual, named passenger pigeon who was the last of her species, partly via Michael Pestel’s installation which memorialises her and seems to offer some hope that she might live again. Neel Ahuja continues with the spectre of extinction and ecological destruction – here in relation to a posthuman New York, through recent ‘speculative images of climate disaster’ (44) and ponders why, with certain exceptions, animal studies does not foreground extinction and climate change. (Amitav Ghosh asks a similar question of literature, history and politics in The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable (University of Chicago Press, 2016) suggesting that the climate crisis we face is also ‘a crisis of culture, and thus of the imagination’ (9).
Recommended CitationWoodward, Wendy, [Review] Michael Lundblad, editor, Animalities: Literary and Cultural Studies Beyond the Human. Edinburgh University Press, 2017. 249pp, Animal Studies Journal, 8(1), 2019, 241-243.
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