Animal Languages in the Middle Ages

Representations of Interspecies Communication

  • Alison Langdon

Part of the The New Middle Ages book series (TNMA)

Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xv
  2. Alison Langdon
    Pages 1-9
  3. Communicating Through Animals

  4. Recovering Animal Languages

  5. Embodied Language and Interspecies Dependence

  6. Back Matter
    Pages 261-272

About this book


 The essays in this interdisciplinary volume explore language, broadly construed, as part of the continued interrogation of the boundaries of human and nonhuman animals in the Middle Ages. Uniting a diverse set of emerging and established scholars, Animal Languages questions the assumed medieval distinction between humans and other animals. The chapters point to the wealth of  non-human communicative and discursive forms through which animals function both as vehicles for human meaning and as agents of their own, demonstrating the significance of human and non-human interaction in medieval texts, particularly for engaging with the Other. The book ultimately considers the ramifications of deconstructing the medieval anthropocentric view of language for the broader question of human singularity. 


Critical Animal Studies Medieval Texts Interspecies Communication Hybridity medieval falconry medieval veterinary medicine Marie de France's Bisclavret birds in Chaucer Andalusi Phoenix falconry and gender performative gender and animals Le Chevalier au Lion animals as metaphor in medieval text medieval anthropocentrism Ancrene Wisse "becoming-animal" Chrétien de Troyes’ Cligès Guillaume au faucon Troilus and Criseyde Vitae

Editors and affiliations

  • Alison Langdon
    • 1
  1. 1.Western Kentucky UniversityBowling Green, KYUSA

Bibliographic information