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Title: The monstrous vegan : reading veganism in literature, 1818 to present
Author: Quinn, Emelia
ISNI:       0000 0004 8503 2537
Awarding Body: University of Oxford
Current Institution: University of Oxford
Date of Award: 2019
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The term "vegan" was coined in 1944. In the years since, the prevalence of individual vegans and the intelligibility of veganism, as a commitment to living without exploiting nonhuman animals, has increased rapidly across the developed world. Numerous studies detailing the impact of animal agriculture and mass meat consumption on the environment, compounded by an unprecedented rise in global population, have contributed to a significant shift in veganism's cultural currency: from ineffectual fad to an urgent and essential response to a wide range of ethical, environmental, and social issues. Within such contexts, it is necessary to address how veganism is written, how it is read, and the importance of the critical construction and deconstruction of vegan identity. However, a nuanced interrogation of veganism as activism and lived practice has been limited within existing humanities scholarship. My DPhil thesis addresses this lacuna by establishing a theoretical lens through which to read both with and for veganism. The dissertation constitutes a significant intervention within the nascent field of vegan theory and establishes the relevance of veganism for a range of existing fields of study, beyond those with which it is typically associated. I expand the remit of contemporary queer theory and offer radically new readings of canonical texts, providing close textual analysis that demonstrates their overlooked potential as sources for thinking about vegan modes of life. I focus on the iteration of a trope which I define as "the monstrous vegan" across two hundred years of Anglophone literature, including the work of Mary Shelley, H. G. Wells, Margaret Atwood, J. M. Coetzee, and Alan Hollinghurst. Explicating, through such monsters, veganism's relation to utopian longing and challenge to the conceptual category of the "human," the dissertation explores ways in which ethical identities can be written, represented, and transmitted.
Supervisor: Mukherjee, Ankhi Sponsor: Wolfson Foundation
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available