Dr Tanja Schwalm

Tanja Schwalm received a PhD from the University of Canterbury for her thesis entitled Animal Writing: Magical Realism and the Posthuman Other.  Her thesis examines human-animal relationships in the context of postcolonial, magical realist fiction from Australia, Canada, and Latin America. Tanja considers how animal practices such as animal farming, the circus, the rodeo and the zoo influence fictional representations of animals and vice versa. Moreover, she discusses the clash of different cultural and spiritual belief systems and its effect on human-animal relationships in the postcolonial context.

Originally from Cologne, Germany,Tanja has been living in Christchurch, Aotearoa New Zealand for many years.  She has taught and tutored at the University of Canterbury, and she has also worked as a CELTA qualified English language teacher.

Tanja has been a volunteer for SAFE (Save Animals from Exploitation) since 2002 and contributed an article to SAFE's Animals and Useducation resource, Animals on Show.  She is currently available as a school speaker as part of SAFE's education programme.

Selected Publications

Schwalm, T.  "No-One's Ark: Exotic Animals Acts in the Circus." Animals on Show. Animals and US. SAFE, 2009. 159-166.

Schwalm, T. “No circus without animals?” Animal Acts and Ideology in the Virtual Circus. In P. Armstrong and L. Simmons (ed.). Knowing Animals. Boston and Leiden : Brill, 2007. 79-104.

Schwalm, T. “Relax and Enjoy the Show”: Circensian Animal Spaces in Australian and Latin American Magical Realist FictionThe Journal of Commonwealth Literature, 41:3 (2006): 82-102.