Edinburgh Companion to Animal Studies

Provides cross-disciplinary perspectives on the study of animals in humanities.

This volume critically investigates current topics and disciplines that are affected, enriched or put into dispute by the burgeoning scholarship on Animal Studies. What new questions and modes of research need come into play if we are to seriously acknowledge our entanglements with other animals? World-leading scholars from a range of disciplines, including Literature, Philosophy, Art, Biosemiotics, and Geography, set the agenda for Animal Studies today. Rather than a narrow specialism, the 35 newly commissioned essays in this book show how we think of other animals to be intrinsic to fields as major as ethics, economies as widespread as capitalism and relations as common as friendship.

The volume contains original, cutting-edge research and opens up new methods, alignments, directions as well as challenges for the future of Animal Studies. Uniquely, the chapters each focus on a single topic, from ‘Abjection’ to ‘Voice’ and from ‘Affection’ to ‘Technology’, thus embedding the animal question as central to contemporary concerns across a wide range of disciplines.

Arctic Desert Ocean Jungle

In pursuit of their animal subjects, artists Olly & Suzi start by situating themselves in the subject’s natural habitat. Their 15 years of adventures in such remote places as Siberia, the North Pole and the Galapagos fill this book, accompanied by photographs that document the pair’s process.

This Way North

Wall Street Banker Jack Wyler has is all: the killer bonuses, the fancy apartment, and any woman he wants. But something fundamental has been missing in his life for a long time. When a mystical artwork becomes the source of his obsession, Jack knows he needs to make changes. Enticed by the thrill of the wild he plans an Arctic expedition with his best friend Jim. However, his quest for redemption becomes a fight for survival when they are struck by a devastating series of events on the Siberian ice pack. Jack returns to New York on the verge of mental and physical collapse. Back at work and with the turmoil of a financial downturn, he finds himself spinning out of control, fighting against corporate betrayal and questioning his own values and sanity.

Set against the backdrop of the heady last days of the dotcom boom and the stark ferocious beauty of the Alaskan wilderness, THIS WAY NORTH is the story of Jack Wyler’s perilous solitary journey to discover his true self.

Author Olly Williams has been working in remote Arctic, desert, ocean and jungle habitats tracking endangered predators and their prey as part of the artistic collaboration Olly&Suzi for the past twenty years. This is the first novel.

Praise for THIS WAY NORTH:

“Art meets the Arctic; high finance meets the alpha male in a tale which you track from the markets of Manhattan out into the wildernesses of the human mind. This novel is packed with an energy that readers should find both exhilarating and informative.”
Rachel Campbell-Johnston, The Times’ Chief Art Critic.

The Postmodern Animal

In The Postmodern Animal, Steve Baker explores how animal imagery has been used in modern and contemporary art and performance, and in postmodern philosophy and literature, to suggest and shape ideas about identity and creativity. Baker cogently analyses the work of such European and American artists as Olly and Suzi, Mark Dion, Paula Rego and Sue Coe, at the same time looking critically at the constructions, performances and installations of Robert Rauschenberg, Louise Bourgeois, Joseph Beuys and other significant late twentieth-century artists.

Baker’s book draws parallels between the animal’s place in postmodern art and poststructuralist theory, drawing on works as diverse as Jacques Derrida’s recent analysis of the role of animals in philosophical thought and Julian Barnes’s best-selling Flaubert’s Parrot.