Journals Higher Education



Published: 15 February 2017

224 Pages | 30 black & white illustrations

9.2x6.1 inches

ISBN: 9781526101440

Bookseller Code (06)

Venomous Encounters

Snakes, Vivisection and Scientific Medicine in Colonial Australia

First Edition

Peter Hobbins

Published by Manchester University Press

Studies in Imperialism MUP

  • Rewrites the history of animal experimentation by detailing the frequent, public and painful nature of snakebite and antidote displays in colonial settings, especially Australia
  • Explores the complexity of historical animal identities through scientific characterisation of snakes and the nature of their venom, from the early modern period to World War I
  • Proposes the 'colonial animal matrix', a novel model for explaining the shifting historical relationships between indigenous and imported creatures across imperial contexts
  • Questions how animals - even loathed creatures such as serpents - can be afforded a degree of subjectivity and a 'voice' in writing the past