Article ID: CBB167872231

On Nonhuman Agency (2024)


The concept of nonhuman agency is a contentious issue in historical discourse, provoking disagreement due to its loose definition. The lack of a consistent definition for the term has led to varied and contradictory interpretations, sometimes rendering it counterproductive. Diverse theoretical models across disciplines engage questions of nonhuman agency, spanning Indigenous methodologies, actor-network theory, and new materialisms. Exploration of early modern scientific study of animals reveals the importance of rooting theories of nonhuman influence in concrete historical processes rather than abstractions and within the context of period actors’ categories. Challenging the centrality of nonhuman agency in historical discussions prompts a deliberate consideration of its role for historians, suggesting alternative ways of valuing and analyzing past human entanglements with nonhumans, and questioning whether agency must remain so central to discussions of the more-than-human.

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Article Anne E. C. McCants; Anya Zilberstein (2024) Introduction. The Journal of Interdisciplinary History (pp. 297-304). unapi

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Authors & Contributors
Dewsbury, Donald A.
Bradshaw, G. A.
Crist, Eileen
Feder, Helena
Kressley-Mba, Regina A.
Langlitz, Nicolas David
Configurations: A Journal of Literature, Science, and Technology
History of Psychology
Journal of the History of Biology
Journal of the History of the Behavioral Sciences
Archives of Natural History
Isis: International Review Devoted to the History of Science and Its Cultural Influences
Johns Hopkins University Press
Pennsylvania State University Press
Princeton University Press
Rowman & Littlefield
Animal behavior
Animal psychology
Agency (philosophy)
Controversies and disputes
Albertus Magnus
Blyth, Edward
Darwin, Charles Robert
De Waal, Frans B. M.
Fernberger, Samuel Weiller
Hamilton, William Donald
Time Periods
19th century
20th century
20th century, early
20th century, late
13th century
United States
Great Britain

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