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Animals on Display

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Table of Contents

Contents List of Illustrations Acknowledgments Introduction: Making Animals Visible Adam Dodd, Karen A. Rader, and Liv Emma Thorsen Part I Preserving 1 Six Monstrous Pigs: Animal Monsters and Museum Practices in the Eighteenth-Century El Real Gabinete de Historia Natural Lise Camilla Ruud 2 The Frames of Specimens: Glass Cases in Bergen Museum Around 1900 Brita Brenna 3 Preserving History: Collecting and Displaying in Carl Akeley's In Brightest Africa Nigel Rothfels Part II Authenticating 4 The Pleasure of Describing: Art and Science in August Johann Roesel von Rosenhof's Monthly Insect Entertainment Brian W. Ogilvie 5 Images, Ideas, and Ideals: Thinking with and about Ross's Gull Henry A. McGhie 6 A Dog of Myth and Matter: Barry the Saint Bernard in Bern Liv Emma Thorsen Part III Interacting 7 Popular Entomology and Anthropomorphism in the Nineteenth Century: L. M. Budgen's Episodes of Insect Life Adam Dodd 8 Interacting with The Watchful Grasshopper; or, Why Live Animals Matter in Twentieth-Century Science Museums Karen A. Rader 9 Polar Bear Knut and His Blog Guro Flinterud About the Contributors Index

About the Author

Liv Emma Thorsen is Professor in the Department of Culture Studies and Oriental Languages at the University of Oslo. Karen A. Rader is Associate Professor of History and Director of the Science, Technology, and Society Program at Virginia Commonwealth University. Adam Dodd is an independent researcher whose interests focus on the role that visioning technologies have played in developing conceptions of nonhuman animals.


"[Animals on Display] demonstrates how our cultural imaginations are tethered to the material reality of animals, insisting that such representations can never fully escape the social and cultural contexts in which they were originally created and are now viewed. It also shows how powerful connections with animals on display, like those at the American Museum of Natural History, allow visitors an intimate, if fleeting, glimpse of previously living, breathing organisms." --Erika Lorraine Milam, Isis--Journal of the History of Science Society "Animals on Display explores the uncharted region between cultural studies and the history of science, between museology and animal studies. These are strange lands, and we meet wonderful beasts: monstrous pigs, tame polar bears, colossal elephants, colorful butterflies, rare seagulls, Herculean dogs, captive grasshoppers, and more. As our fearless guides, the authors shed new light not only on the physicality of animals (both peri- and postmortem) but also on their representations. With previously unpublished illustrations and energetic prose, this important volume is an insightful exploration of the relationship between the visibility and materiality of animals from the Enlightenment to the twenty-first century. Historians, anthropologists, curators, and animal studies scholars will enjoy following the editors and their lively herd on the eventful journey through the pages of Animals on Display." --Samuel J. M. M. Alberti, Hunterian Museum, editor of The Afterlives of Animals: A Museum Menagerie "The case studies in Animals on Display--on subjects ranging from early modern caterpillars to the cyber-bear Knut--remind us how real animals have been implicated in practices of display. As a collection, this volume is both unusual and praiseworthy for its success in combining an uncompromising historicity with a deft engagement of post-Berger theories of representation." --Charlotte Sleigh, University of Kent "This book provides interesting new insight into and analysis of the human-animal relationship. The different chapters show striking examples of the ways in which this relationship has been constructed through the objectification of animals on display, most powerfully exemplified through their presentation as 'specimens' rather than individuals. At the same time, an underlying message is the importance animals have in the lives of humans, which is one reason why their lives (and deaths) should be taken into consideration. Most importantly, though, and as the title suggests, through the analysis in this book animals are made visible as individuals with intrinsic value." --Ragnhild Sollund, University of Oslo "From the eighteenth century's preserved monsters to the twenty-first century's images of zoo polar bear Knut, the authors of Animals on Display foreground representations--not as transparent or objective acts but as visible and palpable forces working at micro and macro levels to shape cultural understandings and relationships to animals. After this book, the reader cannot look at commonplace images and figures of animals without thinking of how they are enframed and to what ends." --Ron Broglio, Arizona State University

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