Erica Fudge is Professor of English Studies at the University of Strathclyde and Director of the British Animal Studies Network. She is the author of Brutal Reasoning and Perceiving Animals and editor of Renaissance Beasts.
Brutal Reasoning presents a powerful alternative to a critique of speciesism elaborated on the ground of a posthumanist theory of the subject, which typically pays little attention to particular animals and forms a bloodless abstraction out of the 'nonhuman.' Fudge's commitment to historical specificity serves as a corrective to the recent tendency to treat animals as a way station en route to an analysis of sexism and racism. As a historical argument it presents a view of modernity far more nuanced than studies that locate the decisive break between humans and animals in the alienation of nineteenth-century capitalism, or that reduce the polyphonic voices of early modern Europe to simple monody. A fundamental reassessment of the human-animal relation in early modern history, the book succeeds in adjusting our sense of the period's philosophy and literature by restoring animals to a central place in the project of constructing the human self. * H-Animal * At the heart of Brutal Reasoning is a contention that modern historiography has ignored how instrumental animals have been in forming humanity's ideas of itself. Fudge argues that scholars have imposed on the Early modern world an anachronistic concept of humanity separated from animals by an unbridgeable chasm. * Times Literary Supplement *