The human-animal relationship has always been characterized by a wide net of interactions and exchanges. By providing an overview of the concept of animality – and of the several meanings attached to it – this book aims at rethinking the real nature of this notion, towards a new definition of both the human and the animal. The authors highlight the need to overcome the traditional tendency to read the animal merely as a symbol, a metaphor or an allegory, whose only purpose is that of representing and negotiating human power relations of race, class, and gender. Within this context, the edited collection Bestiarium intends to contribute to the present debate on Animal Studies, by focusing on literary texts and discursive practices, which reveal the epistemological and cultural dynamics that structure the very representation of the animal.
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