The Emotional Lives of Animals

Grief, friendship, gratitude, wonder, and other things we animals experience. Scientific research shows that many animals are very intelligent and have sensory and motor abilities that dwarf ours. Dogs are able to detect diseases such as cancer and diabetes and warn humans of impending heart attacks and strokes. Elephants, whales, hippopotamuses, giraffes, and alligators use[…]

A History of Thinking with Animals

Animals have always been central to human culture, as cave paintings around the world attest. In more recent times, they have also been used to reflect on what it is that defines us as human. Animals, as the anthropologist Claude Lévi-Strauss suggested, are ‘good to think with’. (Totemism, 1964). From the earliest human societies, they[…]

A Brief History of Animals in Early Modern and Modern Children’s Literature

Books had the practical aim of helping children to learn to read, count, and understand the world around them. Stories about animals have always been a staple of children’s literature. At first, such books were not particularly concerned with entertainment, but had the practical aim of helping children to learn to read, count and understand[…]

Animals in Thai Manuscript Art

Examining the role of animals in Thai manuscript art. Illustrations of real and mythical animals play an important role in Thai manuscript art, especially in Buddhist folding books and in animal treatises, but also in manuscripts related to astrology, divination and fortune telling. The belief that certain animals have super-natural powers is well reflected through[…]

Animals as Historical Actors

Animals are history-shaping actors in many fields of historical research. Introduction Animals have become an important topic in German-language historiography. Following a brief review of the research as a whole, this article will introduce the specific aspects of agency, space and practice (praxeology). While there are struggles over theoretical positions in animal history, the sources[…]

Behind the Rocket Cat: Animals in Warfare from Hannibal to World War One

War animals have been with us for a very long time. There’s a good chance you’ve come across the bewhiskered warrior above on the web: it’s been featured on the Guardian and ABC News. And for good reason: the image is the best combination of cats and history since those inky pawprints on the medieval manuscript. The so-called “rocket[…]