Welcome to Fauna

an introduction

Welcome to Anthropoid’s inaugural issue, FAUNA.

In this issue: thunder gods, invasive species, dogs and primates, dudebros and greenhouses, loss, Noah’s Ark, pitching the metaphorical tent, the desert, war games, the arrival of metal, and a crocodile who really, really wants to eat a nearby monkey.

Let’s talk about humans. And animals. And the human animal.

In the sciences, humanity is often defined in opposition to the animalistic. In the words of Bertrand Russell, humans are set apart by “speech, fire, agriculture, writing, tools, and large-scale cooperation,” however, recent work in animal-human relations reveals many of these traits to be shared in the animal kingdom.  Crows and primates utilize tools; ants cultivate a kind of agriculture; large-scale cooperation can be argued to exist in many species–so this leaves us with speech, writing (or oral histories), and fire. The animalistic permeates our mythmaking, our rhetorical comparisons, and the way we situate ourselves in the larger world.

Our first issue of Anthropoid has far surpassed any expectations I had when I first started gathering the collective of writers who would become its fledgling community and staff. Anthropoid formed out of a fascination with the humanesque, and an interest in narrative and myth, in participant observation and ethnography, and in all the ephemera and ideas of human cultures. The writing we received when we called for submissions was diverse in its subject matter and language, and brilliantly inventive in its interpretation of our “themes.” The result of our cataloguing is a final selection of work that is vibrant, present, and vulnerable. We’re so excited to share it with you, and to welcome you to that community.

What separates us after all? Perhaps it is our imagination which “[turns] animal communication into open-ended human language, memory into mental time travel, social cognition into theory of mind, problem solving into abstract reasoning, social traditions into cumulative culture, and empathy into morality. Or perhaps we are not so far removed from our phylum as we think. Cataloguing the fauna around us is yet another of those charmingly human traits of imagination, one which has been integral to the origins of anthropological study and observation, and even to our ancestral shift toward domestic life. In this issue, we are collecting our own fauna–our own pantheon of talented writers and thinkers and human animals attuned to their surroundings and compelled to its utterance.

Go well, Anthropoids, into all the wilds before you. – K

Contributors

Adrienne Celt, Bruno Renero-Hannan, Casandra Lopez, Charlotte Seaman-Huynh, Chelsea Biondolillo, Douglas Luman, Emily Vizzo, Hila Ratzabi, Jeff Handy, Jim Redmond, K Vish, Kaela McNeil, Kerri Webster, Lynn Pedersen, Max McDonough, Morgan Childs, Myriam Gurba, Nicole Steinberg, Nomi Stone, Shannon Elizabeth Hardwick, Tem Arbora, Will Manlove

Staff Contributors

Hiba Krist, Melissa R. Sipin, Kenzie Allen

Readers & Team

Kirby Snell, Dave Lu, Caleb Washburn, Will Slattery, Jamie Harary, Audrey Danielle, Grace Liew, Jane Hawley, Koty Neelis, Dylan Weir, Melissa R. Sipin (digital assistant editor), Joy Allen (assistant managing editor), Kenzie Allen (managing editor, design)

Cover art courtesy of the Getty Open Images Project.
     

Kenzie Allen

Kenzie Allen is a descendant of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin. She is a graduate of the Helen Zell Writers' Program at the University of Michigan, and is currently a first-year Ph.D. and Advanced Opportunity Program Fellow at the University of Wisconsin Milwaukee. Her work can be found in Boston Review, The Iowa Review, Narrative, Apogee, Drunken Boat, SOFTBLOW, Indiana Review, Best New Poets 2016, and other venues. She was born in West Texas and tumbleweeds around with frequency.

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