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date: 23 January 2022

Abstract and Keywords

This chapter outlines where the history of animals is now, and suggests where it and the historiographical issues raised by the inclusion of animals in a study of the past might go in the future. The chapter traces shifts in the idea that animals recorded in textual documentation are always and only human representations, looks at the potential for animals to be historical agents and at the questions of animal agency and the possibility of recovering an animal’s point of view in historical work using the findings of animal welfare science. It also engages with the nature of the documents available to historians of animals, and uses some contemporary theoretical work—particularly that of Vinciane Despret—to think about new ways of engaging with the intraspecific and interspecific encounters of animals and humans in history.

Keywords: animal studies, animal historiography, representation, agency, point of view, animal welfare science, interspecific encounters, intraspecific encounters

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