Cover: "Fighting nature" by Peta Tait

This is an Open Access book licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence.

Fighting Nature

Travelling Menageries, Animal Acts and War Shows

Peta Tait

ISBN: 9781743324301

DOI: 10.30722/sup.9781743324301

Publication date: 10 August 2016

Series: Animal Publics

Throughout the 19th century, animals were integrated into staged scenarios of confrontation, ranging from lion acts in small cages to large-scale re-enactments of war. Initially presenting a handful of exotic animals, travelling menageries grew to contain multiple species in their thousands. These 19th-century menageries entrenched beliefs about the human right to exploit nature through war-like practices against other animal species. Animal shows became a stimulus for antisocial behaviour as locals taunted animals, caused fights, and even turned into violent mobs. Human societal problems were difficult to separate from issues of cruelty to animals.

Apart from reflecting human capacity for fighting and aggression, and the belief in human dominance over nature, these animal performances also echoed cultural fascination with conflict, war and colonial expansion, as the grand spectacles of imperial power reinforced state authority and enhanced public displays of nationhood and nationalistic evocations of colonial empires.

Fighting Nature is an insightful analysis of the historical legacy of 19th-century colonialism, war, animal acquisition and transportation. This legacy of entrenched beliefs about the human right to exploit other animal species is yet to be defeated.

About the author

Peta Tait is a professor of theatre and drama at La Trobe University.

 

This is an Open Access book licensed under an Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) licence.

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TY  - BOOK
AU  - Peta Tait
PY  - 2016
TI  - Fighting Nature: Travelling Menageries, Animal Acts and War Shows
AB  - Throughout the 19th century, animals were integrated into staged scenarios of confrontation, ranging from lion acts in small cages to large-scale re-enactments of war. Initially presenting a handful of exotic animals, travelling menageries grew to contain multiple species in their thousands. These 19th-century menageries entrenched beliefs about the human right to exploit nature through war-like practices against other animal species. Animal shows became a stimulus for antisocial behaviour as locals taunted animals, caused fights, and even turned into violent mobs. Human societal problems were difficult to separate from issues of cruelty to animals.Apart from reflecting human capacity for fighting and aggression, and the belief in human dominance over nature, these animal performances also echoed cultural fascination with conflict, war and colonial expansion, as the grand spectacles of imperial power reinforced state authority and enhanced public displays of nationhood and nationalistic evocations of colonial empires.Fighting Nature is an insightful analysis of the historical legacy of 19th-century colonialism, war, animal acquisition and transportation. This legacy of entrenched beliefs about the human right to exploit other animal species is yet to be defeated.
PB  - Sydney University Press
CY  - Sydney
SN  - 9781743324301
DO  - 10.30722/sup.9781743324301
SE  - 302
ER  -
@book{Tait2016,
abstract = {Throughout the 19th century, animals were integrated into staged scenarios of confrontation, ranging from lion acts in small cages to large-scale re-enactments of war. Initially presenting a handful of exotic animals, travelling menageries grew to contain multiple species in their thousands. These 19th-century menageries entrenched beliefs about the human right to exploit nature through war-like practices against other animal species. Animal shows became a stimulus for antisocial behaviour as locals taunted animals, caused fights, and even turned into violent mobs. Human societal problems were difficult to separate from issues of cruelty to animals.Apart from reflecting human capacity for fighting and aggression, and the belief in human dominance over nature, these animal performances also echoed cultural fascination with conflict, war and colonial expansion, as the grand spectacles of imperial power reinforced state authority and enhanced public displays of nationhood and nationalistic evocations of colonial empires.Fighting Nature is an insightful analysis of the historical legacy of 19th-century colonialism, war, animal acquisition and transportation. This legacy of entrenched beliefs about the human right to exploit other animal species is yet to be defeated.},
address = {Sydney},
author = {Tait, P.},
doi = {10.30722/sup.9781743324301},
isbn = {9781743324301},
pages = {302},
publisher = {Sydney University Press},
subtitle = {Travelling Menageries, Animal Acts and War Shows},
title = {Fighting Nature},
year = {2016}
}