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Grant number like: FT-270602-20

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Sophie Esch
Rice University (Houston, TX 77005-1827)

Summer Stipends
Research Programs

[Grant products]

$6,000 (approved)
$6,000 (awarded)

Grant period:
6/1/2020 – 7/31/2020

Animals and Armed Conflict in Contemporary Literature from Latin America and Africa

Writing one chapter of a book on animals and the experience of war in African and Latin American literature.

This book-length study analyzes the presence of animals in recent war and postwar narratives from Latin America and Africa, be it as companions of humans or as victims of the armed conflict, killed, wounded, displaced, or trafficked alive or as parts. My work takes up recent debates within ecocriticism, animal-human studies, and posthumanism and further expands them by discussing the presence of the non-human animal in war and postwar literature. I posit that the animal appears as both a symbol and an anchor point to reflect upon humanity and war in relation to topics such as trauma, innocence, redemption, domesticity, and agency; but I also push these questions further by asking whether the non-human animal can figure as a subject (not just an allegory) within literature and history. Reading Latin American and African literature together, my work uses a rare South-South comparative framework that adds to recently revived debates about world literature.