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The Living Bibliography of Animal Studies

As the field of animal studies continues to grow it is becoming more and more difficult to keep up with new publications. This is a particularly pressing problem given the interdisciplinary nature of the field. How can an individual with a specialism in literary studies, for example, hope to know what is cutting edge in animal geography when she is struggling to keep up with her own field? How can a newcomer know where to start when there are so many different ways in? The living bibliography is a forum that attempts to offer one way of addressing this problem.

LBAS is influenced by the JISC -funded ‘Living Books About Life’ series published by Open Humanities Press. Clare Birchall, Garry Hall and Joanna Zylinska who edited the series have written that ‘All the books … are themselves ‘living’, in the sense that they are open to ongoing collaborative processes of writing, editing, updating, remixing and commenting by readers’. The same active reading, amending, and adding are encouraged here.

The initial LBAS includes invited responses from a number of leading scholars in the field, from a range of disciplines. The bibliographies that they have written are suggestive: the opening gambit in what we hope will be an ongoing process. The scholar who compiled each list will be named, and we hope that this will continue. Selection of and comments on books and essays are useful in and of themselves, but it will be interesting, as well, to know who they came from.

The software will allow registered users to:

  • Comment on existing bibliographies;
  • Add to existing bibliographies – in terms of other references, or a new, more specialist subsection;
  • Link texts from one disciplinary bibliography to another to begin to show how works in the field of animal studies might be transcending the institutional enclaves we all work within;
  • Start up a new list – from an absent discipline or field, or from an area that will benefit from not being held within disciplinary boundaries. This might include, for example, work on pets; or on animals and postcolonialism.

As the bibliography grows and matures it is hoped that it will move from focusing on works that scholars have found particularly productive towards a fuller coverage of the field. Full coverage is not the immediate aim, but it is hoped that LBAS will provide a stepping off point for scholars new to the field, as well as a source of information and ideas for those more familiar. It might also offer evidence of the important scholarship that is emerging out of the study of human-animal relations, and will show how the field has developed and is developing; where new interests lie; what areas are declining. As such, LBAS might also help us to track what it is that animal studies has been, is, and might become.

As ever: politeness is key, and any and all offensive postings will be refused. So please be nice. Scholarly criticism can (and should) be done with tact.

Thanks to the following for constructing the initial bibliographies:

Steve Baker (Contemporary Art); Bruce Boehrer (Renaissance Studies); Brett Buchanan (Continental Philosophy); Henry Buller (Animal Geography); David Clough (Religious Studies and Theology); Susan Crane (Medieval Studies); Susan Curry (Classical Studies); Diana Donald (Art History); Monica Mattfeld (Eighteenth-Century Studies); Erica Fudge (Historical Studies); Robert Garner (Politics); Garry Marvin (Anthropology); Susan McHugh (Contemporary Literature); John Miller (Victorian Studies); Claire Molloy (Media Studies); Clare Palmer (Analytic Ethics); Annie Potts (Cultural Studies); Fiona Probyn-Rapsey (Gender Studies); Lourdes Orozco (Theatre Studies); Tom Tyler (Videogaming); Rhoda Wilkie (Sociology); Abigail Woods (Veterinary History);

Instructions on how to add references and comments to lists can be found here. Please read these carefully before attempting to add to the website.

To join the community of scholars on this website please click the 'log in' link at the top right of this page and complete the form. Once your request is processed you will receive an email confirming that access has been granted. When you receive this you will be able to login to the wiki and add your own bibliographical suggestions. This approval process is done by a human being rather than a computer so may take a little time. Please be patient. Please remember: all additions to the website must abide by the rules set out in the Instructions found here. Thanks.

Now, let it live …

The bibliography is funded by the Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences, University of Strathclyde, and is linked to the British Animal Studies Network. It is, like BASN, under the direction of Erica Fudge, and was started as part of her AHRC Leadership Fellowship (2015-16).