Postcolonial Ecocriticism: Literature, Animals, Environment

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Taylor & Francis, Nov 25, 2009 - Literary Criticism - 250 pages

In Postcolonial Ecocriticism, Graham Huggan and Helen Tiffin examine relationships between humans, animals and the environment in postcolonial texts. Divided into two sections that consider the postcolonial first from an environmental and then a zoocritical perspective, the book looks at:

  • narratives of development in postcolonial writing
  • entitlement and belonging in the pastoral genre
  • colonialist 'asset stripping' and the Christian mission
  • the politics of eating and representations of cannibalism
  • animality and spirituality
  • sentimentality and anthropomorphism
  • the place of the human and the animal in a 'posthuman' world.

Making use of the work of authors as diverse as J.M. Coetzee, Joseph Conrad, Daniel Defoe, Jamaica Kincaid and V.S. Naipaul, the authors argue that human liberation will never be fully achieved without challenging how human societies have constructed themselves in hierarchical relation to other human and nonhuman communities, and without imagining new ways in which these ecologically connected groupings can be creatively transformed.

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Huggan and Tiffin are arguably at the forefront of English-language engagement with postcolonial ecological criticism and have solidified this with the publication of Postcolonial Ecocriticism. Part two offers a rare focus on animals, and coins the term 'zoocriticism' to encompass this much neglected area of literary studies. An essential book for people interested in a broadening of perspectives in the fields of postcolonialsm and ecocriticism.  

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About the author (2009)

Helen Tiffinwas formerly Canada Research Chair in English and Post-Colonial Studies at Queen's University, Ontario, and is now Adjunct Professor of Post-Colonial and Animal Studies at the University of New England, Australia.

Graham Hugganis Professor of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Literatures at the University of Leeds, UK.

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