By Susan Nance
The idea that of 'modernity' is important to many disciplines, yet what's modernity to animals? Susan Nance solutions this query via a thorough reinterpretation of the lifetime of Jumbo the elephant. within the Eighties, shoppers, the media, zoos, circuses and taxidermists, and (unknowingly) Jumbo himself, reworked the elephant from an orphan of the worldwide ivory alternate and zoo captive right into a distracting overseas famous person. voters on continents imaged Jumbo as a sentient person and puppy, yet have been aghast whilst he died in an business twist of fate and his is still have been absorbed by way of the taxidermic and animal rendering industries reserved for nameless animals. The case of Jumbo uncovered the 'human obstacle' of contemporary dwelling, in which humans celebrated person animals to manage or distract themselves from the wholesale slaughter of animals required by way of glossy consumerism.
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Additional resources for Animal Modernity: Jumbo the Elephant and the Human Dilemma
Giles, “Animal Celebrities”; Molloy, Popular Media and Animals, 44–46. “ ‘Jumbo’ and Barnum,” Reynold’s Newspaper, February 26, 1882. Ibid. Gertrude Cox to P. T. Barnum, quoted in Holder, Ivory King, g 69. One of Jumbo’s Sincere Friends to P. T. Barnum, quoted in Holder, Ivory King, g 69. A Young English Girl to P. T. Barnum, quoted in Holder, Ivory King, g 70. Rothfels, “How the Caged Bird Sings: Animals and Entertainment,” 95. Barnum, Life of P. T. Barnum, 332. Ibid. Barnum, Struggles and Triumphs, 121.
This foreign demand meant that ivory trading “did a great deal ... 110 African elephants in the latter half of the nineteenth century differed from earlier generations, although of course, like many humans who lived through these changes, they had no consciousness of being “modern” or colonial, per se. 111 Jumbo was not one of those elephants, but was equally modern since he existed in a live state in close contact with British consumers by learning to accept food from them and mind Matthew Scott when in public.
98 Plenty of the ephemera from the period noted that many, many women engaged in the debate, some of them imagining that they had a personal relationship with the elephant. Their visits, gifts and letters constituted a kind of fandom (although not referred to as such at the time) that often manifested in satirical representations of women weeping as Jumbo sailed away, or clinging to his leg, or fainting from emotional overwork. 100 And, in Britain and North America, the communities of activists lobbying for anti-animal cruelty measures had long overlapped with those who had worked to abolish slavery in the United States.
Animal Modernity: Jumbo the Elephant and the Human Dilemma by Susan Nance