Search results for: elephant-slaves-and-pampered-parrots

Elephant Slaves and Pampered Parrots

Author : Louise E. Robbins
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"Adds a new dimension to our understanding of eighteenth-century France by investigating the provenance, treatment, and fate of exotic animals living in Paris in the 1700s." -- American Historical Review

Elephant Slaves Pampered Parrots

Author : Louise E. Robbins
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This lively history “adds a new dimension to our understanding of 18th-century France” by exploring the Parisian fashion of importing exotic animals (American Historical Review). In 1775, a visitor to Laurent Spinacuta’s Grande Ménagerie at the annual winter fair in Paris would have seen two tigers, several kinds of monkeys, an armadillo, an ocelot, and a condor—in all, forty-two live animals. In the streets of the city, one could observe performing elephants and a fighting polar bear. Those looking for unusual pets could purchase parrots, flying squirrels, and capuchin monkeys. The royal menagerie at Versailles displayed lions, cranes, an elephant, a rhinoceros, and a zebra, which in 1760 became a major court attraction. For Enlightenment-era Parisians, exotic animals piqued scientific curiosity and conveyed social status. Their variety and accessibility were a boon for naturalists like Buffon, author of Histoire naturelle. Louis XVI use his menagerie to demonstrate his power, while critics saw his caged animals as metaphors of slavery and oppression. In her engaging account, Robbins considers nearly every aspect of France’s obsession with exotic fauna, from the animals’ transportation and care to the inner workings of the oiseleurs’ (birdsellers’) guild. Based on wide-ranging research, Elephant Slaves and Pampered Parrots offers a major contribution to the history of human-animal relations, eighteenth-century culture, and French colonialism.

Elephant Slaves and Pampered Parrots

Author : Louise E. Robbins
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Elephant Slaves and Pampered Parrots

Author : Louise E. Robbins
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Looking at Animals in Human History

Author : Linda Kalof
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From the first cave paintings to Britta Jaschinski's provocative animal photography, it seems we have been describing and portraying animals, in some form or another, for as long as we have been human. This book provides a broad historical overview of our representations of animals, from prehistory to postmodernity, and how those representations have altered with changing social conditions. Taking in a wide range of visual and textual materials, Linda Kalof unearths many surprising and revealing examples of our depictions of animals. She also examines animals in a broad sweep of literature, narrative and criticism: from Pliny the Elder’s Natural History to Donna Haraway’s writings on animal–human–machine interaction; and from accounts of the Black Plague and histories of the domestic animal and zoos, to the ways that animal stereotypes have been applied to people to highlight hierarchies of gender, race and class. Well-researched and scholarly, yet very accessible, this book is a significant contribution to the human–animal story. Featuring more than 60 images, Looking at Animals in Human History brings together a wealth of information that will appeal to the wide audience interested in animals, as well as to specialists in many disciplines. Linda Kalof is professor of sociology at Michigan State University. Her books include The Earthscan Reader in Environmental Values and The Animals Reader: The Essential Classic and Contemporary Writings.

Exotic Animals in the Art and Culture of the Medici Court in Florence

Author : Angelica Groom
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An examination of the diverse roles exotic animals, both living species and depicted as motifs in art, played in the fashioning of the Medici’s courtly identity.


Author : Paul Carter
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One of the more nonconformist figures in the animal kingdom, the parrot is linked to humans by its ability to speak—a trait many have found unsettling, though this discomfort is offset by its gorgeous plumage, which makes it one of the most popular members of the avian family. Unlike previous studies that have treated parrots as simply a curious oddity, Paul Carter offers here in Parrot a thoughtful yet spirited consideration of the natural and cultural history of parrots, discussing parrot portraiture, the role and significance of parrots' mimicry in human culture, and parrot conservation, as well the parrot's role in literature, folklore and mythology, film, and television worldwide. Parrot takes three different approaches to the squawker: the first section, "Parrotics," examines the historical, cultural, and scientific classification of parrots; "Parroternalia," the second part, looks at the association of parrots with the different languages, ages, tastes, and dreams of society; and, finally, "Parrotology" investigates what the mimicry of parrots reveals about our own systems of communication. Humorously written and wide-ranging in scope, this volume takes readers beyond pirates and "Polly wants a cracker" to a new kind of animal history, one conscious of the critical and ironic mirror parrots hold up to human society.

Subjugated Animals

Author : Nathaniel Wolloch
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This book is a study of attitudes toward animals in early modern Western culture. Emphasizing the influence of anthropocentrism on attitudes toward animals, historian Nathaniel Wolloch traces the various ways in which animals were viewed, from predominantly anti-animal thinking to increasingly pro-animal sentiments and viewpoints. Wolloch devotes a chapter each to six major themes: early modern philosophical perspectives on animals till the end of the seventeenth century, pro-animal opinions in the eighteenth-century, the connection between attitudes toward animals and the early modern debate about the existence of extraterrestrial life, scientific modes of discussing animals, the role of animals in early modern anthropomorphic literature, and depictions of animals in seventeenth-century Dutch and Flemish painting. He concludes his broad, interdisciplinary study by linking these historical trends to the modern discussion of animal rights and ecological issues.

Entertaining Elephants

Author : Susan Nance
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Consider the career of an enduring if controversial icon of American entertainment: the genial circus elephant. In Entertaining Elephants Susan Nance examines elephant behavior—drawing on the scientific literature of animal cognition, learning, and communications—to offer a study of elephants as actors (rather than objects) in American circus entertainment between 1800 and 1940. By developing a deeper understanding of animal behavior, Nance asserts, we can more fully explain the common history of all species. Entertaining Elephants is the first account that uses research on animal welfare, health, and cognition to interpret the historical record, examining how both circus people and elephants struggled behind the scenes to meet the profit necessities of the entertainment business. The book does not claim that elephants understood, endorsed, or resisted the world of show business as a human cultural or business practice, but it does speak of elephants rejecting the conditions of their experience. They lived in a kind of parallel reality in the circus, one that was defined by their interactions with people, other elephants, horses, bull hooks, hay, and the weather. Nance’s study informs and complicates contemporary debates over human interactions with animals in entertainment and beyond, questioning the idea of human control over animals and people's claims to speak for them. As sentient beings, these elephants exercised agency, but they had no way of understanding the human cultures that created their captivity, and they obviously had no claim on (human) social and political power. They often lived lives of apparent desperation.

Commercial Visions

Author : Dániel Margócsy
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In "Commercial Visions," Daniel Margocsy shows how entrepreneurial science has been with us since the Scientific Revolution. Product marketing, patent litigation, and even ghostwriting pervaded natural history and anatomy, the big sciences of the early modern era, and the growth of global trade during the Dutch Golden Age gave rise to a transnational network of such entrepreneurial science, connecting natural historians, physicians, and curiosi in such cities as Amsterdam, London, St. Petersburg, and Danzig. These practitioners were out to do business: they bought and sold exotica, preserved specimens, anatomical prints, and botanical atlases, and in their trade relied on particularly mercantile innovations, including postal networks, shipping, public transportation, and international banking. They also developed their own infrastructure for managing the long-distance monetary exchange of scientific knowledge and curiosities, while entrepreneurial rivalries, secrecy, and marketing strategies transformed the honorific, gift-based exchange system of the Republic of Letters into a competitive marketplace. Throughout this process, the Dutch naturalists contributed to the growth of modern science, imbuing its ethos and practices with financial undertones. "Commercial Visions "studies the interaction of commerce and science through the lens of recent scholarship on commodification, the circulation of knowledge, and the consumer revolution to argue that trade brought about a culture of scientific debate in the Netherlands that thoroughly influenced the visual epistemology of early modern science. Market competition pitted naturalists against each other, and compelled them to develop philosophical arguments to promote the representational claims of their imaging techniques. Margocsy s highly readable book will be warmly welcomed by anyone interested in early modern science, culture, and art. "