Intersections: The Animal Question Meets Feminist Theory

  • Lynda Birke
  • Tora Holmberg


How can we conceptualize relationships between humans and other animals historically, materially and culturally? And, more specifically, how can we understand such relations in feminist terms? Animals play crucial roles in human lives: we use them for food, clothing, medical research, entertainment, education, recreation. Moreover, we mirror ourselves in other animals: in them, we see similarity and difference, and thus also our own superiority. The complex, shifting, and often contradictory relationships between us and other species are the focus of a growing area of academic inquiry, known as human/animal studies (HAS); here, we draw on this research to consider what a focus on human/animal relations brings to feminist theory. Both feminism and animal politics have concerns with questions of power albeit in different ways: how, then, can they influence each other?

As feminist theory has expanded its remit and embraced diversity, it has challenged the position of humanity...


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Dept Biological ScienceUniversity of ChesterChesterUK
  2. 2.Department of SociologyUppsala UniversityUPPSALASweden

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