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  • From A to Z: New volume examines animals' role in the British Empire, racial politics

    Black and white drawing of a British soldier stamping on scorpions that are half insect and half Afghan tribal soldiers.

    “Animalia: An Anti-Imperial Bestiary for Our Times,” co-edited by Illinois history professor Antoinette Burton, examines the roles that animals played in the British Empire – both in advancing and in disrupting British imperial power.

    This image from the Second Anglo-Afghan War shows John Bull trying to stamp on scorpions that are half insect and half Afghan tribal fighter. The cartoon reflects “the challenges that the colonial creature world posed to British imperial ambition,” Burton wrote.

    “Stamping It Out,” by John Gordon Thomson. From Fun, Aug. 11, 1880. Courtesy of Bodleian Library.

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  • Editor’s note: To contact Antoinette Burton, email aburton@illinois.edu.

    “Animalia: An Anti-Imperial Bestiary for Our Times” was published by Duke University Press.

    Burton is also the author of “An ABC of Queen Victoria's Empire” and “The Trouble With Empire,” as well as other books on British imperialism.