Living Bibliography of Animal Studies

Activity: Public Engagement and Other ActivitiesTypes of External academic engagement - To be assigned


As the field of animal studies continues to grow it is becoming more and more difficult to keep up with new publications. This is a particularly pressing problem given the interdisciplinary nature of the field. How can an individual with a specialism in literary studies, for example, hope to know what is cutting edge in animal geography when she is struggling to keep up with her own field? How can a newcomer know where to start when there are so many different ways in? The Living Bibliography of Animal Studies (LBAS) was constructed - with the support of HaSS IT - by me and is a forum that attempts to offer one way of addressing this problem.
LBAS is an online resource that is influenced by the JISC -funded ‘Living Books About Life’ series published by Open Humanities Press. Clare Birchall, Garry Hall and Joanna Zylinska who edited the series have written that ‘All the books … are themselves ‘living’, in the sense that they are open to ongoing collaborative processes of writing, editing, updating, remixing and commenting by readers’. The same active reading, amending, and adding are encouraged here.
The initial LBAS includes invited responses from a number of leading scholars in the field, from a range of disciplines. The bibliographies that they have written are suggestive: the opening gambit in what we hope will be an ongoing process. The scholar who compiled each list will be named, and we hope that this will continue. Selection of and comments on books and essays are useful in and of themselves, but it will be interesting, as well, to know who they came from.
The software will allow registered users to:
Comment on existing bibliographies;
Add to existing bibliographies – in terms of other references, or a new, more specialist subsection;
Link texts from one disciplinary bibliography to another to begin to show how works in the field of animal studies might be transcending the institutional enclaves we all work within;
Start up a new list – from an absent discipline or field, or from an area that will benefit from not being held within disciplinary boundaries. This might include, for example, work on pets; or on animals and postcolonialism.
As the bibliography grows and matures it is hoped that it will move from focusing on works that scholars have found particularly productive towards a fuller coverage of the field. Full coverage is not the immediate aim, but it is hoped that LBAS will provide a stepping off point for scholars new to the field, as well as a source of information and ideas for those more familiar. It might also offer evidence of the important scholarship that is emerging out of the study of human-animal relations, and will show how the field has developed and is developing; where new interests lie; what areas are declining. As such, LBAS might also help us to track what it is that animal studies has been, is, and might become.
This is the first resource of its type in the field.
PeriodMay 2016 → …
Held atLiving Bibliography of Animal Studies, United Kingdom
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • animal studies
  • humanities
  • social sciences