Picture of two heads

Open Access research that challenges the mind...

The Strathprints institutional repository is a digital archive of University of Strathclyde research outputs. Strathprints provides access to thousands of Open Access research papers by University of Strathclyde researchers, including those from the School of Psychological Sciences & Health - but also papers by researchers based within the Faculties of Science, Engineering, Humanities & Social Sciences, and from the Strathclyde Business School.

Discover more...

Animal lives

Fudge, Erica (2004) Animal lives. History Today, 54 (10). pp. 21-26. ISSN 0018-2753

[img]
Preview
PDF
HT_Animal_Lives.pdf - Final Published Version

Download (1MB) | Preview

Abstract

The writer discusses the possibility of writing an animal's biography. It may be too simple to assume that anthropocentrism—a belief in the centrality and superiority of human beings—is the reason why the concept of biography has always been applied uniquely to humans. To write a “life” may not just be to present a series of “facts” but to bear testimony to that individual's capacity to communicate through language the subject's own self-understanding. Using this rationale, the subject of biography is always potentially the subject of autobiography. The exclusion of animals from the Dictionary of National Biography does not just demonstrate the ongoing anthropocentrism of history as a discipline, but it also demonstrates the continuation of a version of human selfhood that is, and always has been, created out of, in exclusion from, and by the naming of animals.