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Book Launch: Wolf by Professor Garry Marvin

“In children’s literature, it was depicted as the intruder from the wild that preys on the innocent. And in popular culture, the wolf became the animal that evil humans can transform into – the frightful werewolf.” - Professor Garry Marvin

Posted: 30 January 2012

image for news story Book Launch: Wolf by Professor Garry Marvin
Garry Marvin’s latest book, Wolf

Feared, reviled and revered, the wolf has always evoked powerful emotions in humans. It has been admired as a powerful hunter; feared for its supposed threat to humans; reviled for its attacks on domestic livestock and respected as a potent symbol of the wild.

Garry Marvin’s latest book, Wolf, explores how the ways in which the wolf is imagined have had far-reaching implications for how it is treated by humans. Indigenous hunting societies respected the wolf as a fellow hunter but with the domestication of animals it became regarded as an enemy due to its attacks on livestock.

Professor of Human-Animal Studies, Marvin explores the resultant reputation of the wolf as a creature of evil: “In children’s literature, it was depicted as the intruder from the wild that preys on the innocent. And in popular culture, the wolf became the animal that evil humans can transform into – the frightful werewolf. As Wolf demonstrates, fear and hatred of this creature led to an attempt to eradicate it as a species. However, with the development of scientific understanding of the wolf and its place in ecological systems, as well as the growth of popular environmentalism, the wolf’s place in the natural world has changed, with a legion of new supporters who regard it as a charismatic creature of the newly valued wild and wilderness.”

Wolf investigates the latest scientific understanding of the wolf, as well as its place in literature, history and folklore, offering insights into our changing attitudes towards this enigmatic creature.

Garry Marvin is a social anthropologist and Professor of Human–Animal Studies at the University of Roehampton, London. He has published widely in the field of animal studies and is the author of Bullfight and co-author of Zoo Culture and Killing Animals .

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