Animals in the Anthropocene: New Book

Cover image Hayden Fowler, New World Order series (2013)

A new book from University of Sydney Press. Three artists have contributed chapters to this book, Madeleine Boyd (NMiCA member), Hayden Fowler, and Vanessa Barbay, along with critical theorists in animal studies.

Animals in the Anthropocene: critical perspectives on non-human futures
Edited by the Human Animal Research Network Editorial Collective
Sydney University Press
ISBN: 9781743324394

Available to purchase for AUD 35 HERE

Much of the discussion on the Anthropocene has centred upon anthropogenic global warming and climate change and the urgency of political and social responses to this problem. Animals in the Anthropocene: critical perspectives on non-human futures shows that assessing the effects of human activity on the planet requires more than just the quantification of ecological impacts towards the categorisation of geological eras. It requires recognising and evaluating a wide range of territories and terrains, full of non-human agents and interests and meanings, exposed to the immanent and profound forces of change that give their name to the Anthropocene.

It is from the perspective of ‘the animal question’ – asking how best to think and live with animals – that Animals in the Anthropocene seeks to interrogate the Anthropocene as a concept, discourse, and state of affairs. The term Anthropocene is a useful device for drawing attention to the devastations wreaked by anthropocentrism and advancing a relational model for human and non-human life. The effects on animals of human political and economic systems continue to expand and intensify, in numerous domains and in ways that not only cause suffering and loss but that also produce new forms of life and alter the very nature of species. As anthropogenic change affects the more-than-human world in innumerable ways, we must accept responsibility for the damage we have caused, and the debt we owe to non-human species.

About the editors

The Human Animal Research Network at the University of Sydney was formed in 2011. It is a cross-faculty research group, comprising members from the humanities, natural sciences, public health, social sciences and veterinary medicine, that focuses on studying the multifaceted and multidimensional relationships between humans and non-human animals.


Introduction by HARN Editorial Collective: Madeleine Boyd, Matthew Chrulew, Chris Degeling, Agata Mrva-Montoya, Fiona Probyn-Rapsey, Nikki Savvides & Dinesh Wadiwel

  1. The paradox of self-reference: sociological reflections on agency and intervention in the Anthropocene by Florence Chiew
  2. Anthropocene: the enigma of ‘the geomorphic fold’ by Ben Dibley
  3. Cycles of anthropocenic interdependencies on the island of Cyprus by Agata Mrva-Montoya
  4. Ecosystem and landscape: strategies for the Anthropocene by Adrian Franklin
  5. The matter of death: posthumous wildlife art in the Anthropoceneby Vanessa Barbay
  6. A game of horseshoes for the Anthropocene: the matter of externalities of cruelty to the horseracing industry by Madeleine Boyd
  7. Painfully, from the first-person singular to first-person plural: the role of feminism in the study of the Anthropocene by Daniel Kirjner
  8. We have never been meat (but we could be) by Simone J Dennis and Alison M Witchard
  9. Multispecies publics in the Anthropocene: from symbolic exchange to material-discursive intra-action by Gwendolyn Blue
  10. Apiculture in the Anthropocene: between posthumanism and critical animal studies by Richie Nimmo
  11. The welfare episteme: street dog biopolitics in the Anthropoceneby Krithika Srinivasan
  12. Wild elephants as actors in the Anthropocene by Michael Hathaway

Epilogue: New World Order – nature in the Anthropocene by Hayden Fowler


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