[New Book] Lesser Living Creatures of the Renaissance: Volume 2, Concepts

Editors: Keith Botelho (Kennesaw State University) & Joseph Campana (Rice University)

Publisher: Penn State University Press, 2023

Lesser Living Creatures examines literary and cultural texts from early modern England in order to understand how people in that era thought about—and with—insect and arachnid life. The conversations in this two-volume set address the collaborative, multigenerational research that produced early modern natural history and provide new insights into the old question of what it means to be human in a world populated by beasts large and small.

Volume 2, Concepts, explores ideas that cut across species, insect and otherwise, both building on and invigorating critical vocabularies developed over nearly two decades of early modern animal studies. The contributors explore topics such as the medical and culinary consumption of insects; extermination campaigns; the auditory and emotive effects of a swarm; insects and politics; and notions of infestation, stinging, and creeping.

Throughout, they illuminate how early modern science and literature worked as intersecting systems of knowledge production about the natural world and show definitively how insect life was, and remains, intimately entangled with human life.


List of Illustrations


Introduction: Concepts – Joseph Campana

1. Sting: Stinging like a Bee in Early Modern England – Julian Yates

2. Scale: Lesser Living in the Renaissance – Joseph Campana

3. Pest: Environmental Justice and the (Early Modern) Rhetoric of Pest Control – Jennifer Munroe & Rebecca Laroche

4. Infestation: Out of Africa: Locust Infestation, Universal History, and the Early Modern Theological Imaginary – Lucinda Cole

5. Habitat and Politics: “Regardles of his gouernaunce”: Exploring Human Sovereignty and Political Formation in Early Modern Insect Habitats – Andrew Fleck

6. Consume: Consuming Insects – Amy L. Tigner

7. Decompose: Worm Work – Frances E. Dolan

8. Locomotion: Creeping and Crawling – Keith Botelho

9. Communication: Tettix – Lowell Duckert

10. Swarm: Song of the Swarm – Derek Woods

11. Illumination: “Living Lamps” – Jessica Lynn Wolfe

Epilogue: Concepts – Keith Botelho

List of Contributors


Source: https://www.psupress.org/books/titles/978-0-271-09448-9.html