Love in a Time of Slaughters

Human-Animal Stories Against Genocide and Extinction

By (author) Susan McHugh

Paperback - £26.95

Publication date:

29 April 2019

Length of book:

240 pages

Publisher

Penn State University Press

ISBN-13: 9780271083704

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.”

—Carrie Rohman, author of Choreographies of the Living: Bioaesthetics in Literature, Art, and Performance