Bringing together leading scholars from Belgium, Canada, France, and the United States, French Thinking about Animals makes available for the first time to an Anglophone readership a rich variety of interdisciplinary approaches to the animal question in France. While the work of French thinkers such as Jacques Derrida, Gilles Deleuze, and Felix Guattari has been available in English for many years, French Thinking about Animals opens up a much broader cross-cultural dialogue within animal studies. These original essays, many of which have been translated especially for this volume, draw on anthropology, ethology, geography, history, legal studies, phenomenology, and philosophy to interrogate human-animal relationships. They explore the many ways in which animals signify in French history, society, and intellectual history, illustrating the exciting new perspectives being developed about the animal question in the French-speaking world today. Built on the strength and diversity of these contributions, French Thinking about Animals demonstrates the interdisciplinary and internationalism that are needed if we hope to transform the interactions of humans and nonhuman animals in contemporary society.
“Thinking about animals, these essays show, does more than sensitize us to extended ethical obligations. It opens us to existential questions about suffering, identity, and awareness of alterity. This collection should inspire a cross-cultural dialogue in which humanists, French or otherwise, are challenged to abandon conceptions of humanity that ignore the manifold experiences of life in this world. ” –Kerry H. Whiteside, Franklin and Marshall College