Current Rearch Projects - New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies - University of Canterbury - New Zealand

Animals in Literature and Culture

 

Forthcoming book:


Political Animals: Representing Dogs in Modern Russian Culture. Amsterdam: Rodopi. Slavic Literature and poetics 58. 2015.
by Henrietta Mondry

This book is the first interdisciplinary study of the representation of dogs in Russian discourse since the nineteenth century. Focusing on the correlation between humans and dogs in traditional belief systems, in literature, film and other cultural productions, it shows that the dog as a political construct incorporates various contradictions, with different representations investing the dog with multiple, often-paradoxical meanings – moral, social and philosophical. From the peasantry’s dislike of the gentry’s hunting dogs and children’s cruelty to dogs in Pushkin and Dostoevsky to the establishment of the Soviet dynasties of border guard and police dogs, from Pavlov’s laboratory dogs to the monuments to the cosmic dog Laika and the subversive dog impersonations by the contemporary performance artist Oleg Kulik, the book explores the intersections of species-class-gender-sexuality-race-disability and, paradoxically, of Arcadian and Utopian dreams and scientific deeds. This study contributes to the unfolding cultural history of human-animal relations across cultures.

 

Kararehe project completed

A three-year interdisciplinary, bicultural project supported by a Royal Society of New Zealand Marsden grant from 2005-2008 "Kararehe: Animals in Art, Literature and Everyday Culture in Aotearoa New Zealand" has been completed by Philip Armstrong, Annie Potts and Deidre Brown.

Outcomes from this project:

 
Book:
 
A New Zealand Book of Beasts: Animals in our History, Culture and Everyday LifeNZ Book of Beasts

by Annie Potts, Philip Armstrong and Deidre Brown (Auckland University Press, 2-13). This book is the first comprehensive human-animal studies analysis of New Zealand's history, literature, visual arts, popular culture and everday life.

The book is divided into four sections. Part One, 'Animal Icons' offers a history and analysis of the meanings associated with four 'totem' NZ animals: moa, sheep, dolphin and whale, Part Two, 'Companion Animals', provides a detailed history of 'pet' relationships from pre-European times to the present. In the third part, 'Art Animals', examines engagement with animals in a wide range of visual arts, focussing in particular on indigenous Māori traditions and on contemporary artists. And the final section, 'Controversial Animals', explores New Zealanders' complex and sometimes contradictory attitudes to animals we think of as 'pests', and those we farm for food.

'A New Zealand Book of Beasts ... will prove a treasure to anyone interested in an in-depth look at animals in New Zealand that goes beyond the stereotypes.' – Jeffrey Moussaieff Masson, New Zealand Listener.

 
Philip Armstrong articles, chapters, presentations:


Armstrong, P. (2012) Samuel Butler's sheep. Journal of Victorian Culture 17(4): 442-453. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13555502.2012.735449.

Armstrong, P. (2011) Meat or Vegetables? New Zealand's Literary Sheep and Guthrie-Smith's Tutira. Journal of New Zealand Literature 29: 12-31.

 Armstrong, P. (2010) Moa Citings. Journal of Commonwealth Literature 45(3): 325-339. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0021989410376799.

 Armstrong, P. (2011) Cetaceans and Sentiment. In C. Freeman, E. Leane and Y. Watt (Ed.), Considering Animals: Contemporary Studies in Human-Animal Relations: 169-182. Farnham: Ashgate.

 Armstrong, Philip. (2013) The Rights of Vegetables: Samuel Butler's Theory of Nonhuman Agency. University of Sydney: Life in the Anthropocene: Australian Animal Studies Group Conference 2013, 8-10 July 2013.

 Armstrong, P. (2012) The Rights of Vegetables: Samuel Butler's Theory of Nonhuman Agency. Milwaukee, USA: Nonhuman: The 26th Annual Meeting of the Society for Literature, Science, and the Arts (SLSA), 27-30 September 2012.

 Armstrong, P. (2009) Moa Stories. Newcastle, Australia: The 2009 International Academic & Community Conference on Animals & Society, 13-19 Jul 2009.

 Armstrong, P. (2008) Feral Feelings: Animals, Agency and Affect in Narrative Fiction. Auckland, New Zealand: Auckland University English Department Seminar Series, 15 Oct 2008.

 Armstrong, P. (2008) Feral Feelings: Animals, Agency and Affect in Narrative Fiction. London, UK: Meeting of the British Animal Studies Network: Representing Animals, 9 Feb 2008.

Annie Potts articles, chapters, presentations:

Potts, A. (2014) Vegan Sexuality. Exploring the Animal Turn. Pufendorf Institute for Advanced Studies, Lund University, Sweden, 27-29 May 2014. (Keynote)

 Potts, A. (2014). Ngā mōkai: The traditional pets of Māori. Brown Universtiy "Animal Magnetism" Conference, Providence RI, April 8 2014.(Invited talk)

 Potts, A. (2013) Ngā mōkai: The traditional pets of Māori. Sydney, Australia: 5th Australian Animal Studies Group Conference 2013 (AASG): Life in the Anthropocene, 8-10 Jul 2013. (Conference Contributions - Full conference papers)

Potts, A. (2010) The New Zealand Devil. Christchurch, New Zealand: New Zealand Geographical Society Conference 2010 (NZGS), 5-8 Jul 2010. (Conference Contributions - Full conference papers)

 Potts, A. and Parry, J. (2010) Vegan Sexuality: Challenging Heteronormative Masculinity through Meat-free Sex. Auckland, New Zealand: Sexualities Against the Grain: A One-Day Symposium, 19 Feb 2010. (Conference Contributions - Full conference papers)

 Potts, A. and Parry, J. (2010) Vegan sexuality: Challenging heteronormative masculinity through meat-free sex. Feminism & Psychology 20(1): 53-72. http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0959353509351181. (Journal Articles)

 Potts, A. (2009) Kiwis Against Possums: A Critical Analysis of Anti-Possum Rhetoric in Aotearoa New Zealand. Society and Animals 17(1): 1-20. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/156853009X393738. (Journal Articles)

 Potts, A. (2009) Kiwis against possums: A critical analysis of anti-possum rhetoric in New Zealand. Newcastle, Australia: The 2009 International Academic & Community Conference on Animals & Society: Minding Animals, 13-19 Jul 2009. (Conference Contributions - Full conference papers)

 Potts, A. and White, M. (2008) New Zealand Vegetarians: At Odds With Their Nation. Society and Animals 16(4): 336-353. http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/156853008X357667. (Journal Articles)

 Potts, A. (2007) Kiwis against possums: Representations of 'homegrown heroes' and 'feral felons' in Aotearoa. Toronto, Canada: Nature Matters Conference 2007, 25-28 Oct 2007. (Conference Contributions - Full conference papers)

 Potts, A. (2007) Non-consuming animals: Vegetarian perspectives in Aotearoa New Zealand. Hobart, Australia: Animals and Society II: Considering Animals, 3-6 Jul 2007. (Conference Contributions - Full conference papers)

Potts, A. & White, M. (2007). “Cruelty-Free Consumption in New Zealand: A National Report on the Perspectives and Experiences of Vegetarians and Other Ethical Consumers”: Findings from this survey, conducted between August and December 2006, are now available. (Word, 690KB) (PDF, 585KB)