Introduction: Biographies, Animals and Individuality

  • André Krebber
  • Mieke Roscher
Part of the Palgrave Studies in Animals and Literature book series (PSAAL)


This chapter introduces biographical research within historical, cultural and literary studies as an approach to recovering the individuality of animals. As a genre, biography depends as much on disciplinary and cultural contexts and the willingness to subscribe agency to the biographical subject as on the willingness to accept the constructedness of narratives. The chapter sketches out prior attempts to create animal biographies of individuals as well as groups of animals and presents new theoretical perspectives that promise to be fruitful in generating a view of animals as agents while at the same time problematizing the representational form of the biography. As such, the writing of animal biographies comes into view as an interdisciplinary effort that re-writes animal lives through their shared relationships with humans.


Biography Prosography Narration Subjectivity Individuality Animal self Animal agency Pierre Bourdieu 

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Copyright information

© The Author(s) 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • André Krebber
    • 1
  • Mieke Roscher
    • 1
  1. 1.University of KasselKasselGermany

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