The Animal Other in Narratives of Conquest: Uncanny Encounters investigates the functions of nonhuman animal imagery in diverse narratives of the Conquest of the Americas. The author's explications of film, poetry, literary and popular fiction, and theme park spaces draw on postcolonial and animal theory, deconstructive and Freudian literary criticism, and radical social theory. She argues that animals in these texts function on two levels: while they play a key role in the development of both Indigenous and European characters, depictions of their treatment and symbolic charge consistently work to disrupt narratives that seek to present the Conquest as a mutually beneficial "encounter" between two cultures. The close readings of animal imagery in texts ranging from Pablo Neruda's poetry to the animated film The Road to El Dorado represent a fresh approach to questions surrounding the depictions of Indigenous Americans and the motivations, tactics, and lasting contributions of the invading culture.
Stacy Hoult is professor of Spanish and chair of the Department of World Languages and Cultures at Valparaiso University.
Chapter 1. “This Is My Forest!”: Indigenous Animals in Apocalypto
Chapter 2. “The Falcon Devoured Its Nest”: Animals in Poetic Responses to the Conquest of the Americas
Chapter 3. Emptying Montezuma’s Zoo: The Conquest of the Animal Other in Malinche
Chapter 4. Conquest, Cannibalism, and the Comedia: The Predatory Instinct in El entenado
Chapter 5. Uncanny Encounters: New World Creatures in The Road to El Dorado
Chapter 6. “Jaguar Is Your Real Name”: Performing Animality in Isabel Allende’s City of the Beasts
Chapter 7. Monsters at the Edge of the World: The Nonhuman Conquest in Books for Young Children
Chapter 8. “Reconquer Your Illusion”: Gamifying the Encounter at Isla Mágica
About the Author
"Hoult’s The Animal Other in Narratives of Conquest complicates, transforms, and illuminates the human experience by recognizing the animal as subject, not as commodity or marginal Other. Her wide-ranging study provides scholars of liminal encounters with valuable insights into consciousness, trauma, and self-fashioning across multiple genres and geographies."
“In a time where we are re-examining our histories and analyzing the human imprint on our world, Stacy Hoult’s book shines a welcome light on the representation of nonhuman animals within diverse examples of literature and film depicting the Conquest of the Americas. A refreshing perspective that draws on post-colonial theory, ecocriticism, animal studies, and Freudian literary criticism, this book provides an excellent addition to the scholarship in these areas while at the same time inviting readers to consider our own relationships with the nonhuman species that share our world.”