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Farmyard Choreographies in Early Modern England

Farmyard Choreographies in Early Modern England

Chapter:
(p.145) Five Farmyard Choreographies in Early Modern England
Source:
Renaissance Posthumanism
Author(s):
Erica Fudge
Publisher:
Fordham University Press
DOI:10.5422/fordham/9780823269556.003.0005

“Farmyard Choreographies in Early Modern England” takes up Charis Cussins’s concept of “ontological choreography”—or rather John Law’s and Donna Haraway’s repurposing of it for describing “human-animal relations”—in order to introduce Renaissance scholars to the tacit, hands-on, and unrecorded songs, dances, and knowledges of the farmyard. Fudge urges scholars of Renaissance art and literature to look beyond the idealized, reason-obsessed, and elite products of courtly culture, as well as the more middle-brow archives of testators and scribes, and in doing so to radically rethink “intimacy” and “individuality”—Ciceronian and later Petrarchan rhetorical ideals—as frequently wordless relationships which, like friendship, extend across species boundaries. Fudge invites readers to imagine the unwritten and even unspoken day-to-day dance between woman and cow, ploughman and oxen. In so doing scholars can embark upon “care-filled” approaches to the silent partners of the past.

Keywords:   archive, Charis Cussins, farmyard, Donna Haraway, John Law, livestock, ontological choreography, species distinction

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