This week’s reading – Huggan and Tiffin’s Postcolonial Ecocriticism

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In Postcolonial Ecocriticism, Graham Huggan and Helen Tiffin examine relationships between humans, animals and the environment in postcolonial texts. Divided into two sections that consider the postcolonial first from an environmental and then a zoocritical perspective, the book looks at:

•narratives of development in postcolonial writing

•entitlement and belonging in the pastoral genre

•colonialist ‘asset stripping’ and the Christian mission

•the politics of eating and representations of cannibalism

•animality and spirituality

•sentimentality and anthropomorphism

•the place of the human and the animal in a ‘posthuman’ world.

Making use of the work of authors as diverse as J.M. Coetzee, Joseph Conrad, Daniel Defoe, Jamaica Kincaid and V.S. Naipaul, the authors argue that human liberation will never be fully achieved without challenging how human societies have constructed themselves in hierarchical relation to other human and nonhuman communities, and without imagining new ways in which these ecologically connected groupings can be creatively transformed.

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