Cannibalism

A Perfectly Natural History

Author: Bill Schutt

Publisher: Algonquin Books

ISBN: 1616207434

Category: Science

Page: 352

View: 8682

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“Surprising. Impressive. Cannibalism restores my faith in humanity.” —Sy Montgomery, The New York Times Book Review For centuries scientists have written off cannibalism as a bizarre phenomenon with little biological significance. Its presence in nature was dismissed as a desperate response to starvation or other life-threatening circumstances, and few spent time studying it. A taboo subject in our culture, the behavior was portrayed mostly through horror movies or tabloids sensationalizing the crimes of real-life flesh-eaters. But the true nature of cannibalism--the role it plays in evolution as well as human history--is even more intriguing (and more normal) than the misconceptions we’ve come to accept as fact. In Cannibalism: A Perfectly Natural History,zoologist Bill Schutt sets the record straight, debunking common myths and investigating our new understanding of cannibalism’s role in biology, anthropology, and history in the most fascinating account yet written on this complex topic. Schutt takes readers from Arizona’s Chiricahua Mountains, where he wades through ponds full of tadpoles devouring their siblings, to the Sierra Nevadas, where he joins researchers who are shedding new light on what happened to the Donner Party--the most infamous episode of cannibalism in American history. He even meets with an expert on the preparation and consumption of human placenta (and, yes, it goes well with Chianti). Bringing together the latest cutting-edge science, Schutt answers questions such as why some amphibians consume their mother’s skin; why certain insects bite the heads off their partners after sex; why, up until the end of the twentieth century, Europeans regularly ate human body parts as medical curatives; and how cannibalism might be linked to the extinction of the Neanderthals. He takes us into the future as well, investigating whether, as climate change causes famine, disease, and overcrowding, we may see more outbreaks of cannibalism in many more species--including our own. Cannibalism places a perfectly natural occurrence into a vital new context and invites us to explore why it both enthralls and repels us.
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Eat Me

A Natural and Unnatural History of Cannibalism

Author: Bill Schutt

Publisher: Profile Books

ISBN: 1782831304

Category: History

Page: 197

View: 1522

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Cannibalism. It's the last, greatest taboo: the stuff of urban legends and ancient myths, airline crashes and Captain Cook. But while we might get a thrill at the thought of the black widow spider's gruesome mating habits or the tragic fate of the nineteenth-century Donner Party pioneers, today cannibalism belongs to history - or, at the very least, the realm of the weird, the rare and the very far away. Doesn't it? Here, zoologist Bill Schutt digs his teeth into the subject to find an answer that is as surprising as it is unsettling. From the plot of Psycho to the ritual of the Eucharist, cannibalism is woven into our history, our culture - even our medicine. And in the natural world, eating your own kind is everything from a survival strategy - practiced by polar bears and hamsters alike - to an evolutionary adaption like that found in sand tiger sharks, who, by the time they are born, will have eaten all but one of their siblings in the womb. Dark, fascinating and endlessly curious, Eat Me delves into human and animal cannibalism to find a story of colonialism, religion, anthropology, dinosaurs, ancient humans and modern consequences, from the terrible 'laughing death' disease kuru to the BSE crisis. And - of course - our intrepid author tries it out for himself. Published in partnership with Wellcome Collection. Wellcome Collection is a free museum and library that aims to challenge how we think and feel about health. Inspired by the medical objects and curiosities collected by Henry Wellcome, it connects science, medicine, life and art. Wellcome Collection exhibitions, events and books explore a diverse range of subjects, including consciousness, forensic medicine, emotions, sexology, identity and death. Wellcome Collection is part of Wellcome, a global charitable foundation that exists to improve health for everyone by helping great ideas to thrive, funding over 14,000 researchers and projects in more than 70 countries. wellcomecollection.org
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The Routledge International Handbook of Human Aggression

Current Issues and Perspectives

Author: Jane L. Ireland,Philip Birch,Carol A. Ireland

Publisher: Routledge

ISBN: 1317211944

Category: Psychology

Page: 432

View: 6834

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Drawing upon international expertise, and including some of the most well-known academics and practitioners in the field, The Routledge International Handbook of Human Aggression is the first reference work to fully capture how our understanding of aggression has been refined and reconceptualised in recent years. Divided into five sections, the handbook covers some of the most interesting and timely topics within human aggression research, with analysis of both indirect and direct forms of aggression, and including chapters on sexual aggression, workplace bullying, animal abuse, gang violence and female aggression. It recognises that, in many cases, aggression is an adaptive choice rather than a moral choice. Providing practitioners and academics with an up-to-date resource that covers broad areas of interest and application, the book will be essential reading for students, researchers and practitioners associated with a range of social science disciplines, including psychology, criminology, social work and sociology, particularly those with an interest in developmental, organisational, forensic and criminal justice allied disciplines.
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Erotic Utopia

The Decadent Imagination in Russia's Fin de Siecle

Author: Olga Matich

Publisher: University of Wisconsin Press

ISBN: 9780299208806

Category: Literary Criticism

Page: 354

View: 3308

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The first generation of Russian modernists experienced a profound sense of anxiety resulting from the belief that they were living in an age of decline. What made them unique was their utopian prescription for overcoming the inevitability of decline and death both by metaphysical and physical means. They intertwined their mystical erotic discourse with European degeneration theory and its obsession with the destabilization of gender. In Erotic Utopia, Olga Matich suggests that same-sex desire underlay their most radical utopian proposal of abolishing the traditional procreative family in favor of erotically induced abstinence. 2006 Winner, CHOICE Award for Outstanding Academic Titles, Current Reviews for Academic Libraries Honorable Mention, Aldo and Jean Scaglione Prize for Studies in Slavic Languages and Literatures, Modern Language Association “Offers a fresh perspective and a wealth of new information on early Russian modernism. . . . It is required reading for anyone interested in fin-de-siècle Russia and in the history of sexuality in general.”—Bernice Glatzer Rosenthal, Slavic and East European Journal “Thoroughly entertaining.”—Avril Pyman, Slavic Review
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