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Meet the Author: Steven Wagschal

Minding Animals in the Old and New Worlds

Wednesday, November 14, 2018, 5:00pm

CAHI House, 1211 East Atwater Avenue

Steve Wagschal’s Minding Animals in the Old and New Worlds (Toronto, 2018) employs current research in cognitive science and the philosophy of animal cognition to explore how humans have understood non-human animals in the Iberian world, from the Middle Ages through the Early Modern period.

Using texts from European and indigenous sources, Steven Wagschal argues that people conceptualize the minds of animals in ways that reflect their own uses for the animal. Wagschal’s research touches on the utility of anthropomorphism; the symbolic use of animals in medieval Christian texts; attempts at understanding the minds of animals in Spain’s early modern farming and hunting books; and how Cervantes navigated the forms of anthropomorphism that preceded him to create the first embodied animal minds in fiction.

Steve Wagschal is Professor and Chair of Spanish and Portuguese at IU Bloomington. In addition to Minding Animals in the New and Old Worlds, he is the author of The Literature of Jealousy in the Age of Cervantes (Missouri, 2006).