Blogging About Critters Since 2007

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Scholarship on Animals in Russian Culture

I just think this is so interesting because it is so unusual...a conference on "The Other Animals: Situating the Non-Human in Russian Culture and History." The conference was held last May and was co-sponsored by Virginia Tech and Bates College.

Here is some of the research presented....

"Ann Kleimola (University of Nebraska) highlighted the importance of Vladimir Durov's animal-training career in shifting popular understandings of non-human intelligence and behavior. In "A Legacy of Kindness: V. L. Durov's Revolutionary Approach to Animal Training," Kleimola noted that although Durov lacks the household recognition of Pavlov, the popularity of his exceptional circus acts consistently undermined the traditional understanding of "stupid animals."

"Arja Rosenholm's (University of Tampere) paper, "On Men and Horses: Animal Imagery and Construction of Russian Masculinities," examined the gendered nature of animal imagery with a specific interest in the association of masculinity with horsemanship."

"Utilizing both nineteenth-century sources and contemporary field records, Mikhail Alekseevsky (State Republican Center of Russian Folklore) examined the methods employed by peasants in caring for animals in his paper, "Treating 'The Other Animals': Russian Ethnoveterinary Practices in the Context of Folk Medicine."

Amy Nelson's (Virginia Tech) "The Body of the Beast: Animal Protection and Anti-Cruelty Legislation in Imperial Russia" examined animal protection legislation in contemporary Russia and placed its origins in the legal debates surrounding the Great Reforms of the nineteenth century."

Thanks to H-Net H-Animal Discussion Network for summarizing the conference.

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