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Lundblad publishes 'The Birth of a Jungle'

February 22, 2013

New book from Oxford University Press explores the historical emergence of the jungle as a discourse in the U.S. during the Progressive Era.

Michael LundbladMichael Lundblad, assistant professor in the Colorado State University English Department, recently published "The Birth of a Jungle: Animality in Progressive-Era U.S. Literature and Culture" with Oxford University Press.

Lundblad has dedicated much of his research and teaching to the study of literary and cultural depictions of animals, including humans as animals. Animality studies explores a diverse range of topics related to animality, animals and human-animal relationships, including topics such as the representation of animals and human animality in literature, the history of how perceptions of animality have changed over time, and the ethics and politics of animal advocacy.

"The Birth of a Jungle" explores the historical emergence of the jungle as a discourse in the United States during the Progressive Era. The book reveals how Darwinist-Freudian constructions of what it means to be both human and animal redefined various behaviors in relation to animal instincts. But these formulations of the human animal, despite reigning critical interpretations, were often contested rather than reinforced in Progressive-Era texts.

"The Birth of a Jungle" ultimately reveals the significance of animality in relation to the history of sexuality, literary naturalism, and critical race studies, while highlighting how the discourse of the jungle remains a disturbing yet powerful presence in U.S. culture today.

Lundblad is the director of Animality Studies@CSU, an interdisciplinary project spanning several colleges and disciplines across the university, providing information on classes, faculty, events, and resources related to animality studies. Lundblad has also taught several related courses at CSU, including The Nature of the Beast in American Literature and Culture, Contemporary
American Animality, and a graduate seminar on Animality Studies.

For more information on The Birth of a Jungle, go to the Oxford University Press website.

For more information on Animality Studies@CSU, go to the project's website.

Contact: Lindsey Middendorf
Phone: 491-2374