Abstract

This essay explores the American production and reception of the nineteenth-century animal autobiography, a genre of children’s literature that was popularized through the humane education efforts of the early animal welfare movement. In foregrounding how the animal autobiography contributed to the increasing ascription of “humanity” to nonhuman animals over the course of the nineteenth century, this essay ultimately shows how the animal autobiography facilitated new modes of racial management that relied on the circumscribed recognition of black humanity. This reading of the animal autobiography shows how the genre of the animal autobiography adapts the conventions of the slave narrative only to “domesticate” former slaves’ claim to human freedom.

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Additional Information

ISSN
1558-9595
Print ISSN
0004-1610
Pages
pp. 1-30
Launched on MUSE
2015-05-29
Open Access
No
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