Animal Alterity

BookAnimal Alterity

Animal Alterity

Science Fiction and the Question of the Animal

Liverpool Science Fiction Texts and Studies, 39


April 21st, 2010



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Animal Alterity uses readings of science fiction texts to explore the centrality of animals for our ways of thinking about human. It argues that the academic field of animal studies and the popular genre of science fiction share a number a critical concerns: thinking about otherness and the nature of human being; desiring communication across species difference; and interrogating the social and ethical consequences of changes in science and technology. We are living in a complex set of contradictory and conflicting relations with non-human animals. This book maps this complex terrain, arguing that we are better able to perceive options for a transformed politics if we perceive our various material relations with non-human animals within a deeper understanding of the functions of the category ‘animal’.

Animal Alterity is an engaging, intelligent study which is perceptively and accessibly theorised, and refreshingly innovative.
Peter Wright

An intriguing and enlightening book. Nicely produced, well-edited and comprehensive, reflecting a great deal of effort by the author to collect and synthesize the sometimes disparate material ... it is definitely recommended for a university research library.
Christopher Basnett, SFRA Review 295 Winter

SFRA Review 295 Winter

Sherryl Vint has done seriously valuable work in Animal Alterity: Science Fiction and the Question of the Animal, illustrating how the HAS lens, and by extension other strands of the ecocritical mode, can illuminate texts not normally associated with environmentalism. While her text selection principles could profitably have been clarified, and her engagement with sf readers could have been more detailed, Vint models here just how effective a careful, environmentally minded literary reading can be.

The Goose, Issue 10, Winter

Author Information

Sherryl Vint is Associate Professor Department of English Language and Literature, Brock University. She is the author of Bodies of Tomorrow: Technology, Subjectivity, and Science Fiction University of Toronto Press, 2006) and co-editor of the journal of Science Fiction Film and Television published by Liverpool University Press).

Table of Contents

Section TitlePage
Introduction. Animal Alterity: Science Fiction and Human–Animal Studies
1. Always-Already Meat: The Human–Animal Boundary and Ethics
2. The Mirror Test: Humans, Animals and Sentience
3. The Animal Responds: Language, Animals and Science Fiction
4. ‘The Female Is Somewhat Duller’: Gender and Animals
5. Sapien Orientalism: Animals, Colonialism, Science Fiction
6. Existing for Their Own Reasons: Animal Aliens
7. A Rope over an Abyss: Humans as Animals
8. The Modern Epimetheus: Animals and/as Technology
Conclusion. ‘Other Fashionings of Life’: Science Fiction, Human–Animal Studies and the Future of Subjectivity
Works Cited