Animal Voices: How Can a Writer Overcome Their Inherent Anthropocentrism and Move Toward Representing the Voice of the Animal Other in Fiction?
A multidisciplinary investigation into how a writer can use what is known of animal minds, communication and perceptions to move away from anthropocentrism and towards a representation of animals that allows space for their voices in our literature. Animals are often anthropomorphised in fiction or used as cyphers, archetypes and symbols for human lessons, stories and concerns. If animals in fiction are pale reflections of ourselves we can learn nothing from them about the world we live in, the creatures that inhabit it, and our place alongside them. This research explores ways to move towards an understanding of the animal others we share our environment with.