The chapters in this incisive collection offer important challenges to anthropocentric prejudices - just as the title promises, readers are taken "beyond human." Vivid, passionate, ethically-charged critical writing embodies resistance to fixed ideas that diminish other animals. Boundaries are contested and conventions are transgressed as these writers celebrate a consciousness that displaces man as the measure of all things. This memorable and important compilation of scholarship creatively advances the agenda of human-animal studies.--Sanford Lakoff
Beyond Human investigates what it means to call ourselves human beings in relation to both our distant past and our possible futures as a species, and the questions this might raise for our relationship with the myriad species with which we share the planet. Drawing on insights from zoology, theology, cultural studies and aesthetics, an international line-up of contributors explore such topics as our origins as reflected in early cave art in the upper Palaeolithic through to our prospects at the forefront of contemporary biotechnology. In the process, the book positions “the human” in readiness for what many have characterized as our transhuman or posthuman future. For if our status as rational animals or "animals that think" has traditionally distinguished us as apparently superior to other species, this distinction has become increasingly problematic. It has come to be seen as based on skills and technologies that do not distinguish us so much as position us as transitional animals. It is the direction and consequences of this transition that is the central concern of Beyond Human.