Review Essay: Developing Empathy Towards Other-than-human Animals through Cultural and Literary Representations


  • Katsiaryna Nahornava Universidad de Granada



This review essay focuses on the animal question and the role that cultural and literary representations of other-than-human animals may have in raising awareness of the severity of the situation and eventually developing a more egalitarian and empathetic society. This paper reviews two different approaches to the issue: an innovative empirical study of the impact that narratives may have on our attitudes towards other species conducted in Poland by Wojciech Malecki, Piotr Sorokowski, Boguslaw Pawlowski, and Marcin Cienski and presented in Human Minds and Animal Stories: How Narratives Make Us Care About Other Species; and a qualitative interdisciplinary research on the animal question in Spain in Spanish Thinking About Animals edited by Margarita Carretero-González.


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Author Biography

Katsiaryna Nahornava, Universidad de Granada

Katsiaryna Nahornava is a Ph.D. candidate in Literature in English language at the University of Granada, Spain. Her doctoral thesis entitled “An Ecocritical Reading of George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire” focuses on the analysis of the well-known Martin’s saga as a narrative of climate change and environmental crisis. Thus, her research interests include all the different aspects of human nonhuman interaction: from environmental ethics and ecophobia to disability and feminism studies interwoven with ecocritical theory. Her first academic article “On (Dis-)Ability and Nature in A Song of Ice and Fire” was published in Studies in the Humanities journal by Indiana University of Pennsylvania. As well as that, "George R.R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire as a Narrative of Climate Change and Environmental Crisis" is about to be published in the double volume of Game of Thrones: A View from the Humanities by Springer Nature.