Elephants, horses, dolphins and bears have stories to tell about the past. Their lives and actions shape history and influence the lives of people in innumerable ways. How can these histories that animals make be studied and understood?
Professors Jennifer Bonnell and Sean Kheraj from York’s Department of History in the Faculty of Liberal Arts & Professional Studies recently published a new open access book exploring the ways that historians study and analyze the histories of animals.
Bringing together 17 original essays by a leading group of international scholars, Traces of the Animal Past: Methodological Challenges in Animal History showcases the innovative methods historians use to unearth and explain how animals fit into our collective histories. Situating the historian within the narrative, bringing transparency to methodological processes, and reflecting on the processes and procedures of current research, this book presents new approaches and new directions for a maturing field of historical inquiry.
“To understand our collective past, historians must engage with the more-than-human world and use new methods and approaches,” said Kheraj.
Traces of the Animal Past is available free online from University of Calgary Press here.
The Robarts Centre for Canadian Studies and the Department of History at York University will sponsor a book launch on Thursday, Nov. 24 at 12:30 p.m. in Vari Hall, room 2183. All are welcome.