Dreaming of Pegasus: Equine Imaginings
Edited by Lynda Birke and Harry Wels
This is a book about passion for horses; contributors write about the horses in their lives, and how relationships with these wonderful animals have shaped their life journeys, their dreams, and also their professional careers as academics.
In particular, they muse upon how imagining and being with horses influences how they, as researchers, investigate horses and their relationship with humans. These chapters introduce many different equine characters, in many different stories and in various places around the world. These are stories of love, and also of loss. They are also stories of love and loss of our great friend, Karen Dalke, with whom we have shared many tales of equine adventures, but who died suddenly in 2018. Karen was a compassionate horsewoman, whose life and work were intertwined with the lives of these wonderful animals. This book is both a tribute to her, and also to the many horses we have known and with whom we have shared our lives.
Similar books – Just Gill: The Story of Gill Dalley… – Victorina Press
More about the Editors.
Lynda Birke | Purdue University Press
Heather Sansom –
Spanning several continents, disciplines, and themes, this collection of essays offers a rare inside view of the tension and cooperation between the personal relationship its authors have with horses, and their professional and academic engagement. Some contributors do reflect on specific relationships with specific horses that influenced their research or journey of professional identity creation. However, the work is not another collection of horse stories. Grounding themselves in their geography, culture, academic discipline, theoretical orientation, and even equine industry or equine training discipline context, each writer presents a candid and insightful reflection that reads a little like a ‘bracketing’ journal for an auto-ethnographer or other qualitative researcher. As a tribute to Karen Dalke, the authors disclose personal impressions and experiences. Rather than distancing a reader who may not have known Ms. Dalke, the book honours her memory by inviting the reader to understand the issues that motivated her work.
The articles trace the evolution of ideas that shape the horse-human relationship and identities in different contexts: anthropomorphism, athropocentrism, misogyny, hierarchy, neurodiversity across species are just a few. The horses discussed are found around the world, e.g., from among the rural poor in Latin America, the wilds of America, and the competitive sport stables of Europe. The reflections are as personal as they are theoretical, as emotional as they are political. The book is open about the struggle of its authors to be taken seriously in the mainstream of their academic discipline ‘homes’ for their (marginalized) passion to understand the ways that horses and humans interact, influence, and shape one another. In this way, the book makes an important contribution to validating and inspiring not only other equine-interested academics, but anyone as passionately committed to the pursuit of knowledge in marginalized issues, drawing on personal lived experience for wider human benefit, and the wellbeing of the species we co-share this planet with. The writing style of this book is accessible and inspiring, which makes it an enjoyable free-time read. I recommend this book, especially to anyone interested in equine-related research.