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Anthropomorphism and the Representation of Animals as Adversaries
Umeå University.
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Languages. University of York, UK.
2015 (English)In: Animal Horror Cinema: Genre, History and Criticism / [ed] Katarina Gregersdotter, Johan Höglund, Nicklas Hållén, Palgrave Macmillan, 2015, 206-223 p.Chapter in book (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In his 1977 essay ‘Why Look at Animals?’ John Berger writes about the place of animals in the visual cultures of modernity and postmodernity. The actual animal has all but disappeared from human life in modernity, Berger points out. Numerous species that used to be close to us humans, including animals that are still bred for their meat and hide, have been Largely removed from the lives of the vast majority of the population of the Western world. Few people ever have to think about the animal that the meat they eat once was. The animals that people do encounter are usually not ‘wild’ animals who behave as such: pets are seen as family members and zoo animals are domesticated and some are trained to perform tricks. However, while we have all but rid the urban and suburban West of animals, we have filled the resulting void with signs that remind us of their absence — though the wild animals themselves are gone, images of animals that invade human culture proliferate. The visual aspect of human-animal relations, in other words, did not disappear with the animal, but has lived on in forms ranging from anthropomorphic renderings of animals in Beatrix Potter’s books and numerous Disney cartoons to displays of live animals at aquariums and zoos — and, of course, animal and nature films. Urban Western modernity thus seems almost to dissolve the animal ‘into pure spectral-ity’ (Burt, 2002, pp. 26–7). The animal in (post)modern visual culture is a ghostly presence that the actual wild animal leaves behind.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Palgrave Macmillan, 2015. 206-223 p.
National Category
Studies on Film
Research subject
Humanities, Film Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-56238DOI: 10.1057/9781137496393_12Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-84968919082ISBN: 9781137496393 (print)ISBN: 9781349553495 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-56238DiVA: diva2:957020
Available from: 2016-08-31 Created: 2016-08-31 Last updated: 2016-08-31Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
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Cite
Citation style
  • apa
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  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
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