Multispecies Modernity: Disorderly Life in Postcolonial Literature considers relationships between animals and humans in the iconic spaces of postcolonial India: the wild, the body, the home, and the city. Navigating fiction, journalism, life writing, film, and visual art, this book argues that a uniquely Indian way of being modern is born in these spaces of disorderly multispecies living.
The zones of proximity traversed in Multispecies Modernity link animal-human relations to a politics of postcolonial identity by transgressing the logics of modernity imposed on the postcolonial nation. Disorderly multispecies living is a resistance to the hygiene of modernity and a powerful alliance between human and nonhuman subalterns.
In bringing an animal studies perspective to postcolonial writing and art, this book proposes an ethics of representation and an ethics of reading that have wider implications for the study of relationships between human and nonhuman animals in literature and in life.
About the author
Sundhya Walther is a Presidential Fellow in English at the University of Manchester. Her work has appeared in Modern Fiction Studies, University of Toronto Quarterly, and The Palgrave Handbook of Animals in Literature. A Canadian transplant, she lives with her multispecies family in Lancaster, UK.
Weaving a series of narrative interpretations of physical and conceptual zones of proximity, Sundhya Walther reads towards alliances that have been otherwise shunned and effaced by the structures and strictures of (postcolonial) modernity. Through readings of fiction, memoir, journalism, and art, Multispecies Modernity takes us through scenes of contaminating touch that offer us the promise of more ethical forms of living against the strangleholds of modernity. This book will be of interest to a readership that extends across the broad fields of postcolonial studies, animal studies, and literary studies. It is a beautifully written work with consistently clear and coherent prose, and always compelling inroads into texts that readers might not be already familiar with. – Julietta Singh, author of Unthinking Mastery: Dehumanism and Decolonial Entanglements