Decolonising Animals

Edited by Rick De Vos

Regular price $40.00 Sale

Format: paperback
255 pages
ISBN: 9781743328583

Publication: 01 Apr 2023
Series: Animal Politics
Publisher: Sydney University Press

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The lives of non-human animals, their ways of being and seeing, their experiences and knowledge, and their relationships with each other, continue to be ignored, discounted, written over and destroyed by anthropocentric practices and endeavours. Within the vestiges of colonialism, this silence and occlusion co-opts and consumes animals, physically and culturally, into the servitude of human interests, and selective narratives of history and progress.

Decolonising Animals brings together critical interrogations, case studies and creative explorations that identify and examine how non-human animals are affected by and respond to colonial structures and processes. This collection includes the perspectives of Indigenous and non-Indigenous scholars, artists and activists, detailing the ways in which they question colonial ways of knowing, engaging with and representing animals. Importantly, the book offers suggestions for how we might decolonise our relationships with non-human animals – and with each other.

Cover art: Dingo in the bush, courtesy of Peter Waples-Crowe.

Rick De Vos conducts research in animal studies and in anthropogenic extinction, in particular its cultural and historical significance and the ways in which it is articulated and practiced. He is an adjunct research fellow in the Centre for Culture and Technology at Curtin University in Western Australia, and before that coordinated the Research and Graduate Studies Programs at the Centre for Aboriginal Studies at Curtin. He is a member of the Extinction Studies Working Group and has published essays on extinction in various academic journals and essay collections, including Knowing Animals (2007), Animal Death (2013), Extinction Studies: Stories of Time, Death and Generations (2017), and The Edinburgh Companion to Animal Studies (2018). With Matthew Chrulew he edited a special issue of Cultural Studies Review in 2019 entitled “Extinction Studies: Stories of Unravelling and Reworlding”.

  • Acknowledgements
  • About the contributors
  • Introduction: Unsettling subjects by Rick De Vos
  • The horse is Indigenous to North America: why silencing the horse is so important to the settler project by Kelsey Dayle John
  • “Red I am”: names for dingoes in science and story by Rowena Lennox
  • Reading Toni Morrison close and far: decolonising literary animal studies by Susan McHugh
  • Mass extinction and responsibility by Katarina Gray-Sharp
  • Crypsis, discovery and subjectivity: unsettling fish histories by Rick De Vos
  • Speculative shit: bison world-making and dung pat pluralities by Danielle Taschereau Mamers*
  • The jaguar gaze: is it possible to decolonise human–animal relationships through archaeology? by Ana Paula Motta and Martin Porr
  • The birdwomen speak: “storied transformation” and non-human narrative perspectives by Kirsty Dunn
  • Index

“Through essays by artists, activists, academics, all people with their noses close to the ground, this timely collection enlightens, sobers and delights. Decolonising Animals passionately reiterates proliferating urgencies for nonhuman animals on a planet, which can only endure by means of decolonising imaginaries.”

Emerita Professor Wendy Woodward University of Western Cape  

“Boldly, and at times fiercely, true to the spirit of decolonization, this volume brings together a rich diversity of scholarly voices to challenge old complacencies about human-animal relationships.

A wonderfully varied yet impressively coherent collection of fresh perspectives on literature, archaeology, extinction, colonisation, and the exploitation of peoples, animals, and environments.”

Professor Philip Armstrong, New Zealand Centre for Human-Animal Studies


Format: paperback
Size: 210 × 148 mm
255 pages
Copyright: © 2023
ISBN: 9781743328583
Publication: 01 Apr 2023
Series: Animal Politics