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Provincial Life with Animals

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image of Society & Animals

Abstract The relationship of peasants and villagers with their animals in the premodern era is a missing chapter in the history of human-animal relations. Works on peasant culture ignore animals, and works on animals neglect their place in rural lives. This article, based on the depiction of premodern peasant and village life in hundreds of local-color novels and stories of the early nineteenth century, begins to fill in this gap in animal studies scholarship. It reveals that many of the defining boundaries between humans and animals introduced in the ideologies of modernity are fuzzy, fluid, or indeed nonexistent in premodernity, where animals are seen as subjects, companions, and, often, parts of the family.

Affiliations: 1: University of Maine


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