Introduction: Literature beyond the Human

  • David Herman
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Animals and Literature book series (PSAAL)


This volume assembles essays by established experts as well as forward-thinking early-career scholars to explore how twentieth- and twenty-first-century literary texts engage with relationships between humans and other animals. The volume is divided into four main parts. Parts I and IV, bookending the study, are period-focused: part I centers on varieties of modernism and part IV on late-twentiethand early-twenty-first-century fiction. The other two parts foreground the more general project of theory building in the domain of literary animal studies. Part II examines how ideas about species, sexuality, and gender link up in twentieth- and twenty-first-century literary texts. Part III considers how the norms and expectations associated with fictional genres—including historical romance and postcolonial fiction—shape possibilities for understanding humans’ affiliations with other animals, even as those ways of understanding in turn shape the formation and evolution of genres. Overall, what distinguishes the volume is its dual commitment to, first, presenting a range of perspectives on fictional treatments of human-animal relationships; and second, demonstrating how ideas from literary animal studies can be leveraged to develop detailed interpretations of particular works written in the twentieth and the twenty-first centuries.


Literary Text Species Line Historical Romance Dual Commitment Fictional Text 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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© David Herman 2016

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  • David Herman

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