Taking this volume as a whole, the Afterword asks what assumptions about relations between human and nonhuman vitality emerge from these essays? Secondly, what do these engagements, these struggles, these entanglements between human and nonhuman animals, articulated in these texts, reveal about the current state of and potential for our collective work in “human‒animal studies”? Tying ontology—a theory of “being”—with ethics—a notion of implied and authorized “praxis”—the co-editors push us toward articulating what the ethical stakes are in interpreting largely literary texts. Acknowledging their goal, this afterword probes further to ask how a point of view from animal studies as an interdiscipline can provide an interpretive framework for literary texts based on an ontological‒ethical grounding. The ultimate question we face is how to theorize the complex linkages between literature and its interpretation and the material conditions of living animals.
|Name||Palgrave Studies in Animals and Literature|