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Bestiatio Minimo: Animalidad, Humanidad y Domesticación en los Inicios de la Edad Moderna en la Monarquía Hispánica
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This research analyzes the concepts of humanity and animality in the Hispanic Early Modern period from an interpretation of the social processes of exclusion and domination as processes of animalization and domestication. This interpretation follows the problematization of humanities and interdisciplinarity posed by Animal Studies. This interdisciplinarity combines ethics, literature, politics, and ethology. Also, this work is inspired by the literary genre of bestiaries, in which both the notion of animal and the disciplinary division are blurred and shown as constructs. This research analyzes four «beasts» or specimens (animal, human, canine, marrano). The first specimen is the animal, which is defined in the Modern Period in opposition to the human. This definition operates negatively: the animal is defined by human characteristics allegedly absent in animals. In this analysis I criticize the animal as an abstract and singular concept, in favor of a non-dichotomous definition of human and other life forms. I analyze the human specimen from the humanist project and the humanities, on one hand, and from the Conquest of the Americas and the evangelization of the indigenous population, on the other. In the case of the canine specimen I focus on its position of a threshold, in between human society and natural world. In this study I explore the implications of this intermediate position that has been interpreted as both the dangers of savage inhumanity and the liberation of social limitations. The forth specimen, the marrano, it is a paradigmatic form of animalization. It gives a special perspective not only because Marrano is an anti-Semitic term in relation to pigs, but also because it indicates the process of the communitarian closure based on an identity and how this closure operates either by conversion/assimilation the different, or by its expulsion/persecution. The conclusion of this research can be summarized in the rejection of the modern concept of the animal, and in the transformation of humanities, considering animals and the contemporary posthumanist historical context. Likewise, I conclude in favor of the inclusion of animals into the juridical system of guarantees in a non-anthropomorfizing form.
Garcia Urena, Guillermo (2018). Bestiatio Minimo: Animalidad, Humanidad y Domesticación en los Inicios de la Edad Moderna en la Monarquía Hispánica. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A & M University. Available electronically from