Dog-human correlations in post-Soviet and post-apartheid literature and film

My research project falls into the interdisciplinary field of human-animal studies and deals with the discursive formation of human-dog correlation in socio-political discourse. It is a comparative investigation of narratives, primarily literature, film, and media, which represent and problematize the dynamics of cultural perceptions of dogs and human-dog interactions in post-communist post-Soviet and post-colonial post-apartheid societies. Developing my recent work on dogs in Russian culture (Mondry 2015), I focus on two thematic clusters: (i) changing attitudes to police and security dogs, and (ii) growing tolerance and acceptance of dogs as companion species across classes and ethnicities. I aim to identify and analyze representations of these changing attitudes to dogs as species and to dog ownership as companion species as indications of a growing tolerance and democratization in societies overcoming political tensions and cultural prejudices of past eras, highlighting the correlation between political changes and changes in body politics at the intersections of class, ‘race’, disability, sexuality, and gender.

Project leader(s):
  • Henrietta Mondry (English Department, University of Canterbury)

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