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The Accommodated Animal

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About the Author

Laurie Shannon is associate professor of English and the Wender Lewis Teaching and Research Professor at Northwestern University.


"An ambitious and piercing study of the status of animals in early modern culture. . . . Situates Shakespeare in a larger . . . discourse that intertwines history, philosophy and literature."
--Julia Reinhard Lupton "Memoria di Shakespeare"
"Beautifully written and carefully researched. . . . Offers brilliant readings."
--Julia Reinhard Lupton "Renaissance and Reformation"
"Brilliant. . . . With inexorable logic and playful wit, Shannon makes the case for animals' role in defining concepts of justice, tyranny, and sovereignty in early modern Europe. . . . Shannon's work should be required reading for anyone interested in early modern animals, animal studies, or posthumanist theory; but it will also greatly influence analyses of Shakespeare, and will introduce readers to a number of regrettably overlooked texts like Baldwin's or Gelli's. . . . It advances the field significantly."
--Julia Reinhard Lupton "Renaissance Quarterly"
"In this wonderfully written and deeply researched book, Laurie Shannon unearths in early modern culture what teems beneath the generic designation, 'animal, ' to which we have become accustomed over the past four hundred years: a wild and woolly 'zoography' of fish and fowl, 'beasts' and 'brutes, ' nonhuman agents and four-footed actors, all cheek to jowl with human beings as 'fellow-commoners' in a trans-species polity, where questions of sovereignty, tyranny, and justice bear directly upon how we treat nonhuman beings. Ranging across legal, literary, philosophical, theological, and scientific texts, The Accommodated Animal finds posthumanism very much alive and well, avant la lettre, in the early modern period's soul-searching attempts to secure our place among the remarkable variety of life that challenges our most cherished and self-flattering biases about the human animal."-- "Cary Wolfe, Rice University"
"This big, beautiful, growling, howling book is as revelatory about language as it is about the natural history of our animal kinships: the 'curtailed' dog, the 'sovereignties' of motion, and the 'race' of locomotive animals invite us to encounter familiar words on all fours, our phantom tails and impotent noses newly alert to semantic climate changes."
--Julia Reinhard Lupton "Studies in English Literature 1500-1900"
"With striking fluency and originality, Shannon sets out to retrieve from the long sixteenth century an all-inclusive model, lost to modernity, by which the world was consigned to all living creatures. . . . There is exacting precision and strong logic, to be sure, but there is also a happy way with words. It is what makes her Herculean labors look easy."
-- "Shakespeare Quarterly"
"Writing with undeniable meticulousness and care, Shannon undertakes to weave together an incredibly broad range of dense subject matter, from philosophy and ethics to history, literature, myth, and science. . . . Readable and engaging. . . . Highly recommended."
-- "Choice"

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