Review of Decolonising Animals, edited by Rick de Vos

Over eight chapters, Decolonising Animals launches an ambitious project across a series of essays from diverse disciplines, continents and cultures. Spanning animal agency, colonial and Indigenous worldviews, decolonisation and the preservation of the natural world the authors explore what it might mean to decolonise animals, as well as contend with cognate questions beyond colonialism. Decolonising Animals is a useful collection for any reader interested in Indigenous scholarship, environmentalism, decolonial practice, animal studies literature and archaeology. Nevertheless, it is, as the editor acknowledges, a ‘beginning’ that ‘defers questions of radical change’ (16). What it does offer, however, is vital context for particular histories, experiences and ongoing conflicts around animals that are often narrated aculturally but are in fact embedded in distinct colonial frameworks. There are two key ways that Decolonising Animals highlights the cultural and historical circumscription of animal studies: by continually drawing on a shared human place in the…

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Published 18 December 2023 in Volume 38 No. 3. Subjects: Animals, Colonisation of Australia, Postcolonial criticism, Animal Studies.

Cite as: Burrows, Lianda. ‘Review of Decolonising Animals, edited by Rick de Vos.’ Australian Literary Studies, vol. 38, no. 3, 2023, doi: 10.20314/als.b6368db56f.

  • Lianda Burrows — Dr Lianda Burrows is an independent academic with research interests in Australian landscape literature and health humanities.