Animal Cities: Beastly Urban Histories

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Professor Peter J Atkins
Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., Oct 28, 2012 - Nature - 294 pages

Animal Cities builds upon a recent surge of interest about animals in the urban context. Considering animals in urban settings is now a firmly established area of study and this book presents a number of valuable case studies that illustrate some of the perspectives that may be adopted. Having an ‘urban history’ flavour, the book follows a fourfold agenda. First, the opening chapters look at working and productive animals that lived and died in nineteenth-century cities such as London, Edinburgh and Paris. The argument here is that their presence yields insights into evolving understandings of the category ‘urban’ and what made a good city. Second, there is a consideration of nineteenth-century animal spectacles, which influenced contemporary interpretations of the urban experience. Third, the theme of contested animal spaces in the city is explored further with regard to backyard chickens in suburban Australia. Finally, there is discussion of the problem of the public companion animal and its role in changing attitudes to public space, illustrated with a chapter on dog-walking in Victorian and Edwardian London. Animal Cities makes a significant contribution to animal studies and is of interest to historical geographers, urban, cultural, social and economic historians and historians of policy and planning.


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List ofFigures
TheCharmed Circle
TheUrban Blood and Guts Economy
Animals Resources and Urban Nuisance
Locating the Transformation of Sensibilities in Nineteenth
8Fowls and the Contested Productive Spaces of Australian
Dogwalking Discipline

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About the author (2012)

Peter Atkins is a Professorial Fellow in Geography at Durham University. His research is devoted to the historical geography of food systems, particularly with regard to livestock products and zoonotic diseases. His book is Liquid Materialities: a History of Milk, Science and the Law was published by Ashgate in 2010.

Peter Atkins, Paul Laxton, Sabine Barles, Takashi Ito, Andrea Gaynor, Philip Howell.

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