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How to make a human : animals and violence in the Middle Ages

Author: Karl Steel
Publisher: Columbus : Ohio State University Press, ©2011.
Series: Interventions: new studies in medieval culture.
Edition/Format:   Print book : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
How to Make a Human: Animals and Violence in the Middle Ages tracks human attempts to cordon humans off from other life through a wide range of medieval texts and practices, including encyclopedias, dietary guides, resurrection doctrine, cannibal narrative, butchery law, boar-hunting, and teratology. Karl Steel argues that the human subjugation of animals played an essential role in the medieval concept of the  Read more...
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Genre/Form: Criticism, interpretation, etc
History
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Karl Steel
ISBN: 9780814211571 0814211577 9780814292563 0814292569
OCLC Number: 692084784
Description: xi, 292 pages ; 24 cm.
Contents: How to make a human --
Mastering violence --
In and out of mortal flesh --
Domesticating beasts : cynocephali, the wild herdsman, and Prudentius's indomitable sheep --
Pigs, butchers, and the ends of humanity.
Series Title: Interventions: new studies in medieval culture.
Responsibility: Karl Steel.

Abstract:

How to Make a Human: Animals and Violence in the Middle Ages tracks human attempts to cordon humans off from other life through a wide range of medieval texts and practices, including encyclopedias, dietary guides, resurrection doctrine, cannibal narrative, butchery law, boar-hunting, and teratology. Karl Steel argues that the human subjugation of animals played an essential role in the medieval concept of the human. In their works and habits, humans tried to distinguish themselves from other animals by claiming that humans alone among worldly creatures possess language, reason, culture, and, above all, an immortal soul and resurrectable body. Humans convinced themselves of this difference by observing that animals routinely suffer degradation at the hands of humans. Since the categories of human and animal were both a retroactive and relative effect of domination, no human could forgo his human privileges without abandoning himself. Medieval arguments for both human particularity and the unique sanctity of human life have persisted into the modern age despite the insights of Darwin. How to Make a Human joins with other works in critical animal theory to unsettle human pretensions in the hopes of training humans to cease to project, and to defend, their human selves against other animals.--Amazon.com.

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