Monthly Archives: December 2011

Welcome to a World of Hybridity

During the 16th and 17th centuries, the lines dividing human from animal were uncomfortably blurred. The resurgence of classical texts filled with mythical hybrid creatures tangled with new travel accounts detailing the strange and wonderful beings that lived in the “New World.” Scientific exploration began revealing similarities in the internal systems of mammals. Shifts in religious affiliation and national law altered how humans viewed their relationships to animals — as dominators or as stewards. This blog examines a number of the key debates (and considers many of the limitations) involving how humans defined and performed their own identities in the early modern world.

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