Cover image for Love in a Time of Slaughters: Human-Animal Stories Against Genocide and Extinction By Susan McHugh

Love in a Time of Slaughters

Human-Animal Stories Against Genocide and Extinction

Susan McHugh

COMING IN APRIL

$99.95 | Hardcover Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-08461-9
Coming in April

$32.95 | Paperback Edition
ISBN: 978-0-271-08370-4
Coming in April

240 pages
6" × 9"
2019

AnthropoScene: The SLSA Book Series

Love in a Time of Slaughters

Human-Animal Stories Against Genocide and Extinction

Susan McHugh

“McHugh’s emphasis on multispecies affective bonding and shared living across texts and histories reshapes the terrain of literary animal studies, posing new lines of inquiry for scholars across many fields. Bringing interspecies lifeways and indigenous knowledges to consciousness within animal studies discourses, Love in a Time of Slaughters models a crucial new set of interpretive geographies for our social and ecological moment.”

 

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Love in a Time of Slaughters examines a diverse array of contemporary creative narratives in which genocide and extinction blur species lines in order to show how such stories can promote the preservation of biological and cultural diversity in a time of man-made threats to species survival.

From indigenous novels and Japanese anime to art installations and truth commission reports, Susan McHugh analyzes source material from a variety of regions and cultures to highlight cases where traditional knowledge works in tandem with modern ways of thinking about human-animal relations. In contrast to success stories of such relationships, the narratives McHugh highlights show the vulnerabilities of affective bonds as well as the kinds of loss shared when interspecific relationships are annihilated. In this thoughtful critique, McHugh explores the potential of these narratives to become a more powerful, urgent strategy of resistance to the forces that work to dehumanize people, eradicate animals, and threaten biodiversity.

As we unevenly contribute to the sixth great extinction, this timely, compelling study sheds light on what constitutes an effective response from a humanities-focused, interdisciplinary perspective. McHugh’s work will appeal to scholars working at the crossroads of human-animal studies, literature, and visual culture, as well as artists and activists who are interested in the intersections of animal politics with genocide and indigeneity.

“McHugh’s emphasis on multispecies affective bonding and shared living across texts and histories reshapes the terrain of literary animal studies, posing new lines of inquiry for scholars across many fields. Bringing interspecies lifeways and indigenous knowledges to consciousness within animal studies discourses, Love in a Time of Slaughters models a crucial new set of interpretive geographies for our social and ecological moment.”
“Given the painful subject matter, this book could have easily been a cry of Anthropocenic despair or idealistic wish-fulfillment, but McHugh is far too generous, thoughtful, and honest for that. There are no easy solutions on offer, no shallow certainties, no simplistic binaries or contexts evacuated of complexity. Instead, Love in a Time of Slaughters offers a learned and loving meditation on what it means to be in accountable kinship with the other-than-human world when those relations are so catastrophically imperiled. Compelling in its analysis and expansive in its concerns, this book is a vital contribution to one of the most urgent conversations of our time.”

Susan McHugh is Professor of English at the University of New England. She is the author of Animal Stories: Narrating Across Species Lines and coeditor of Indigenous Creatures, Native Knowledges, and the Arts: Animal Studies in Modern Worlds.