Critical Animal Studies

An Introduction

By Dawne McCance

Subjects: Animal Rights, Environmental Philosophy, Philosophy
Paperback : 9781438445342, 202 pages, January 2013
Hardcover : 9781438445359, 202 pages, January 2013

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Table of contents

1. Introduction
2. Animal Liberation on the Factory Farm
3. Animal Rights in the Wild
4. Animal Experimentation: In the Lab and on the Farm
5. The Death of “The Animal”: What’s in a Word?
6. Open Cages: Animots and Zoos
7. Feminist Contributions to Critical Animal Studies
8. Killing and Eating Animals: Perspectives from World Religions
9. The Subject of Ethics: Cultural Studies, Art, Architecture, and Literature
10. Turning Points
Works Cited

Comprehensive overview of key theoretical approaches and issues in the field.


Having roots as a specialized philosophical movement at Oxford University in the early 1970s, critical animal studies is now taking shape as a wide-open, multidisciplinary endeavor through which scholars across the humanities, sciences, and social sciences, and others ranging from creative writers to architects, are joining together to address issues related to today's unprecedented subjection of animals. Introducing this emerging field, Dawne McCance describes the wide range of analysis and approaches represented, looking at much-debated practices such as industrialized or "factory" farming of animals, handling and slaughter, animal experimentation, wildlife management, animal captivity, global genomics, meat-eating, and animal sacrifice. McCance equally focuses on many of the theoretical and ethical problems that recur across the field, raising critical questions about prevailing approaches to animal ethics, and inviting new ways of thinking about and responding to animals.

Dawne McCance is University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Religion at the University of Manitoba. Her books include Posts: Re Addressing the Ethical and Medusa's Ear: University Foundings from Kant to Chora L, both also published by SUNY Press, and Derrida on Religion: Thinker of Differance.


"…with her clear prose and simultaneous theoretical breadth and depth, McCance provides an accessible introduction to key and emerging theoretical arguments brewing in CAS … McCance's timely book will be an excellent tool for drawing in new scholars and familiarizing them with the field. Her book reviews and encourages desperately needed ideas and interventions that will hopefully contribute to sparking a dramatic rethinking and reconfiguring of human-animal relations. " — The Goose

"McCance's work is an insightful addition to the dialogue of animal ethics. " — CHOICE

"Dawne McCance, educated first as a biologist and geneticist, and later as a philosopher, has produced an extraordinary book. It introduces us to the principal philosophical issues in the areas of animal rights, animal studies, ecology, and ethics in a lucidly argued way, with both breadth and depth. The major contributions of feminist thinkers, of religious traditions from all over the world, and of Continental European thinkers—above all, the remarkable work of Jacques Derrida—are presented in a clear and comprehensible way. The writing and thinking are always pellucid and dependably profound. No reader will ever forget the preface to the book, 'Chopped Liver. ' And no reader who works through the book will fail to be grateful for this comprehensive and truly critical introduction to critical animal studies. " — David Farrell Krell, Professor Emeritus of Philosophy, DePaul University