A Special Place in the Heart. Human-Animal Affection in Lena Furberg’s Stallgänget på Tuva

Anna Nygren


This article examines emotions in girls’ relationships with horses as portrayed in Lena Furberg’s cartoon Stallgänget på Tuva (The Stable-Gang at Tuva). Published in the comic Min Häst (My Horse) between 1996 and 2008, the cartoon is an example of the literary genre of the horse book and a broader culture of (fictive and non-fictive) girl-horse-relations. Showcasing a series of sequences from the cartoon, the article suggests various ways to understand the human-animal bonds in relation to other kinds of relationships, to notions of what relationships are and can be and to extant social structures, such as sexism, racism, and capitalism. In the analyses theories from the fields of feminist theory, critical animal studies and practical knowledge are employed. Haraway’s notion of »companion species« is of particular importance. The article also discusses how the reader’s emotions could be interpreted and touches briefly on the subject of fiction and reality, and how the borders between these are reformulated in relation to the horse book reader.

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