Next Article in Journal
Correction: Ana Pais. “Re-Affecting the Stage: Affective Resonance as the Function of the Audience.” Humanities 5 (2016): 79
Next Article in Special Issue
Narrating Animal Trauma in Bulgakov and Tolstoy
Previous Article in Journal
The Fairy Tale and Its Uses in Contemporary New Media and Popular Culture Introduction
Article Menu

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Humanities 2016, 5(4), 82; doi:10.3390/h5040082

Animal Autobiography; Or, Narration beyond the Human

CORAL (Center for Research on Animal Lives), St Petersburg, FL, USA
Academic Editor: Joela Jacobs
Received: 10 August 2016 / Revised: 11 October 2016 / Accepted: 13 October 2016 / Published: 18 October 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Animal Narratology)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [237 KB, uploaded 20 October 2016]

Abstract

In engaging with acts of self-narration that cross species lines, creators of animal autobiographies also broach questions about genre, truth status, and the structure as well as the politics of narrative representation. To address these questions, the present article draws not just on scholarship on (animal) autobiography but also on ideas from the fields of linguistic semantics, politeness theory, and discourse analysis, including the “framing and footing” approach that focuses on talk emerging in contexts of face-to-face interaction and that derives most directly from the work of Erving Goffman. On the basis of this research, and using case studies that range from animal riddles to Ceridwen Dovey’s Only the Animals (2014), a collection of life stories posthumously narrated by a variety of nonhuman tellers, I profile autobiographical acts that reach beyond the human as ways of speaking for or in behalf of animal others. Some animal autobiographies correlate with acts of telling for which humans themselves remain the principals as well as authors; their animal animators remain relegated to the role of commenting on human institutions, values, practices, and artifacts. Other examples, however, can be read as co-authored acts of narrating in behalf of equally hybrid (or “humanimal”) principals. These experiments with narration beyond the human afford solidarity-building projections of other creatures’ ways of being-in-the-world—projections that enable a reassessment, in turn, of forms of human being. View Full-Text
Keywords: animal narrators; anthropocentrism; cultural ontologies; discourse analysis; fiction–nonfiction distinction; framing and footing; life writing; narratology; politeness; self-narratives animal narrators; anthropocentrism; cultural ontologies; discourse analysis; fiction–nonfiction distinction; framing and footing; life writing; narratology; politeness; self-narratives
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

Scifeed alert for new publications

Never miss any articles matching your research from any publisher
  • Get alerts for new papers matching your research
  • Find out the new papers from selected authors
  • Updated daily for 49'000+ journals and 6000+ publishers
  • Define your Scifeed now

SciFeed Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Herman, D. Animal Autobiography; Or, Narration beyond the Human. Humanities 2016, 5, 82.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Humanities EISSN 2076-0787 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top