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Anna M. Davies-Barrett
and
Sarah A. Inskip

The introduction of tobacco to Europe in the sixteenth century preceded a proliferation in societal norms, rituals and taboos surrounding its consumption. Historical sources suggest that pipe use was highly gendered, and became entangled with ideas about masculinity and sociability. The focus on male social smoking behaviours in historical sources provides limited scope for a more nuanced understanding of tobacco consumption across different social groups. Osteoarchaeological evidence for habitual smoking can also be identified from ‘pipe-notches’ and distinctive staining on the teeth. Further, the analysis of archaeological pipe assemblages provides insight into the materiality of smoking. Combining documentary, material and osteoarchaeological evidence, this chapter provides a unique consideration of the embodied experience of tobacco consumption in relation to social identity during the industrial period in England. It is demonstrated that age, class, gender, ethnicity and regional and cultural backgrounds may have all affected the ways in which people experienced tobacco consumption. Class and occupation were particularly important determining factors of tobacco consumption, as well as shaping how certain tobacco consumption practices were marginalised in print culture. We also identify a disconnect between documentary evidence for consumption of tobacco as a predominantly male social practice, and osteoarchaeological evidence for a large proportion of women also consuming, perhaps in the privacy of their own homes. The types of evidence utilised here can all present biases that result in the ‘invisibility’ of certain societal groups. However, in combination, they provide a unique perspective for understanding embodied experiences related to tobacco consumption across society.

in The material body
Open Access (free)
A heritage of woe?
Rachel E. Bennett

A question that has confronted the modern prison system since its inception in the mid-nineteenth century is whether prison was, or could ever be, an appropriate place for the birth and care of infants. Several voices have long debated the subject, some focused on the issue from the perspective of the institution, including the maternity provisions in place and the impact of infants on the discipline of the prison. Others have focused more upon the benefits for the mothers of having their children with them during their sentence instead of being forced to be separated. As the period progressed, voices claiming to advocate for the infants of prison mothers also became louder. This chapter examines recurring arguments supporting and opposing prison births and reveals how they were interleaved with questions of health, discipline, stigma and choice.

in Motherhood confined
Open Access (free)
Rachel E. Bennett

The Conclusion weaves together the strands examined throughout the book, tracing how prison administrators, doctors, officers, reformers and prisoners themselves have attempted to untangle the exigencies of pregnancy and birth in prison over the past two centuries. By illuminating the continued prescience of this often-overlooked aspect of England’s penal history, the Conclusion illuminates how the evidence presented in the book can offer a longer narrative to current debates which seek to confine ‘outdated’ penal practices to the past, especially for mothers and their children, but continue to struggle to find concrete answers to perennial questions that have been posed to the prison system since its inception in the mid-nineteenth century.

in Motherhood confined
Rachel E. Bennett

When they walked through the prison gates women brought with them a skein of stories and experiences. Some entered prisons to serve sentences of a few days. Others faced several years behind bars. Prisons for women accommodated the young and the old, the healthy alongside the sick, the first-time offender entering prison with trepidation along with the recidivist, perceived to be hardened to the toils of incarceration. The threads of this chapter are woven together to demonstrate that their experiences of health and discipline were impacted upon by their physical surroundings and the women around them and, crucially, were heavily regulated yet often contested by those tasked with their custody and care.

in Motherhood confined
Mariam Motamedi Fraser

Chapter 4 is organised around two connected parts. The first analyses two popular scientific books – one by Brian Hare and Vanessa Woods, the other by Clive Wynne – in which the authors seek to explain to their readers what dogs are. The second part explores some of the implications of those explanations, for dogs. The chapter draws on Jocelyn Porcher’s theory of animal labour to do this. Its argument in essence is that dogs’ species story – exemplified in these two books – actively militates against an understanding of dogs as labouring subjects. And because dogs are not perceived to be labouring subjects, it is difficult to identify, let alone challenge, the ongoing exploitation of companion and working dogs, or to recognise their forms of ‘resistance’. As for the creative potentiality that Porcher claims to exist in labour, dogs’ species story allows no leverage for this at all. Although the chapter draws on Porcher’s theory of animal labour to make this case and to explore its implications, the particularity of dogs’ species story, as it is described, for example, by the scientists explored in the first half of this chapter, also constitutes a critique of it, and of Porcher’s implicit assumption that her account of labour applies equally to all domesticated animals. Debates about animal labour are complex and multifaceted, as the conclusion of this chapter acknowledges and discusses.

in Dog politics
Open Access (free)
Scientific research with dogs
Mariam Motamedi Fraser

Previous chapters have addressed the serious trouble that dogs’ species story makes for dogs. Chapter 5 turns to the trouble that the story makes for scientists – for the very scientists who are writing it. It puts three related, but differently charged, issues into conversation with one another: dogs’ perceived relationality, as it is defined as a methodological problem in science; relationality, as it is defined as the foundation of animal capability, agency and resistance in nimal studies; and the contested place of singular individuality in both. This chapter shows how Vinciane Despret’s model of ‘polite research’ is differently relevant to those scientists who support dogs’ species story (and who are therefore obliged to grapple with the methodological quandaries that are perceived to be raised by dog–human relationality) and to those who contest it (and who foreground dog individuality in contrast). It also argues, however, that neither polite research, nor the responses of these scientists to the problems posed by dogs, offer much in the way of the undoing of dogs’ species story, nor can they wholly account for how dogs might be enabled to object to the questions that are posed to them by science. The final section of the chapter analyses Martin Seligman’s ‘learned helplessness’ research, the brutality of which served, inadvertently, to draw attention not only to the relevance of intersubjectivity, but also to the dogs’ irreducible singularity, which had the power, at least momentarily, to interrupt, perhaps even to disrupt, the demands of the experiments.

in Dog politics
Open Access (free)
Mariam Motamedi Fraser

This final chapter returns to the ‘problem’ of the individual. It explores how a particular version of the individual is connected to the establishment of modern science, and how contemporary science – and especially evolutionary developmental biology – is today posing challenges to it. It finds in Alfred North Whitehead’s concept of an ‘enduring concrete percipient’ a way to navigate a path between the notion of the individual modern subject on the one hand, and relational entanglement on the other. This concept also offers something of a ‘rough guide to relevance’, a guide to anticipating whether and how an event might become relevant from an individual’s ‘point of view’. Chapter 7 uses this guide to begin to answer Lynda Birke’s question as to ‘what’s in it for the animals?’, which it brings to debates about the individual and relationality in the social sciences. The second part of the chapter addresses again how species thinking, in erasing the significance of animals as individuals, simultaneously erases a most important source of evidence of violence against them: their very ‘selves’, their bodies, their lives, their deaths. It concludes with a reflection on the value of different ways of challenging species, and on what this book’s understanding of ‘species stories’ offers in this regard. Dog Politics closes with a discussion of how the relations between dogs and humans might be reconstructed, and on the problems that the human love of dogs poses for dogs.

in Dog politics
Open Access (free)
Species stories and the animal sciences
Series: Inscriptions

Everywhere dogs are found, they are stitched into human hearts. But are humans stitched into dogs’ hearts? Countless celebrations of ‘the dog–human bond’ suggest that they are. Yet ‘the bond’ does not always come easily to dogs. Dog Politics seeks to denaturalise, in different ways, dogs’ ‘species story’, the scientific story that claims that being with humans somehow constitutes dogs’ evolutionary destiny. This book asks what evidence exists for this story; what choices dogs have but to go along with it; and what expectations, demands and burdens it places on dogs, on a daily basis. In doing so, it offers an unfamiliar and discomfiting account of the lives of domesticated dogs’ today. Dog Politics is an empirical investigation of dogs in science that makes important theoretical contributions to debates of contemporary significance. It addresses how the connections between animal behaviours and species identities are established in theory and practice. It analyses the enduring entanglement of racism and speciesism, and how the interlocking relations between these prejudices are shaped by the different ways that the categories of ‘race’ and of species are conceived of in science over time. In the light of the reification and exploitation of dogs’ perceived relationality with humans, it looks again at the ethics and politics of intersubjectivity, becoming-with, entanglements. It disputes that species can be separated from storying. Above all, Dog Politics shows how species stories erase the singular individual animal as a figure of theoretical, methodological, ethical and political value, and with what dire consequences.

Open Access (free)
Mariam Motamedi Fraser

Chapter 2 addresses dogs’ species story. This is the story of ‘how dogs became dogs’ as it is understood, discussed and debated in the fields of genetics, archaeology, behavioural ecology and canine science. One of the most significant elements of this story concerns the relation between dog speciation and dog domestication: did dogs become dogs before they were domesticated, or by way of domestication? This chapter is an interrogation of how proof of dog speciation/domestication is established, what evidence exists to support it, and what role dogs themselves play in disrupting it. In all, the aim of the chapter is to illustrate that dogs’ species story is told with unwarranted confidence. But it is also to demonstrate, importantly, that it is a story that wields substantial power, authority and influence. The chapter is bookended by two interrelated topics that are important to Dog Politics as a whole: time, and the relations between species and ‘race’. It begins with a discussion of why Darwin’s presentation of his theory of evolution by natural selection to his Victorian public, which greatly relied on dogs, lends itself to such ongoing confusion with regard to evolutionary time, and ends by illustrating how easily, if not how inevitably, species and ‘race’ can come to be conflated, when the different temporal scales of biological speciation and political racialisation are not available to distinguish them.

in Dog politics
Open Access (free)
Rachel E. Bennett

Uniformity, discipline, strict organisation. These were the principles underpinning the creation of the modern prison system in the mid-nineteenth century to achieve the aim of true reform before release back into society. However, in the century that followed, prison administrators up and down the prison hierarchy faced challenges of overcrowding, ill health among prisoners and scrutiny of the ability of the system to achieve its fundamental aims. Among the thousands of people who populated these penal institutions, hundreds of women entered prisons pregnant, and many of them gave birth to their babies behind bars. Countless others left children on the outside. They posed distinct challenges to physical environments and regimes neither designed nor equipped for their custody and care.

in Motherhood confined