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"Centering Animals in Latin American History breaks new ground. In intellectually sophisticated essays, the contributors suggest that by providing a new history of animals, we cannot only understand more about the human/animal divide but also break down the category of the human, interrogate nature, and analyze the form in which the past becomes history. In this way, this collection writes animals into Latin American history."—Pete Sigal, author of The Flower and the Scorpion: Sexuality and Ritual in Early Nahua Culture
"In this engaging and generative collection of essays, editors Martha Few and Zeb Tortorici take us beyond the implications of the Columbian Exchange to show how a wide range of animals—including locusts, cattle, monkeys, fur seals, llamas, birds, and goats—actively shaped Latin American history and culture. Centering Animals in Latin American History does more than just restore animals to visibility while examining human ideas about and practices toward nonhuman animals: it makes it impossible to look at Latin American history without taking into consideration the nonhuman animals that materially and symbolically cocreated our world."—Brett Mizelle, author of Pig
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Centering Animals in Latin American History writes animals back into the history of colonial and postcolonial Latin America. This collection reveals how interactions between humans and other animals have significantly shaped narratives of Latin American histories and cultures. The contributors work through the methodological implications of centering animals within historical narratives, seeking to include nonhuman animals as social actors in the histories of Mexico, Guatemala, the Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Chile, Brazil, Peru, and Argentina. The essays discuss topics ranging from canine baptisms, weddings, and funerals in Bourbon Mexico to imported monkeys used in medical experimentation in Puerto Rico. Some contributors examine the role of animals in colonization efforts. Others explore the relationship between animals, medicine, and health. Finally, essays on the postcolonial period focus on the politics of hunting, the commodification of animals and animal parts, the protection of animals and the environment, and political symbolism.
Contributors. Neel Ahuja, Lauren Derby, Regina Horta Duarte, Martha Few, Erica Fudge, León García Garagarza, Reinaldo Funes Monzote, Heather L. McCrea, John Soluri, Zeb Tortorici, Adam Warren, Neil L. Whitehead