Post of book cover and event details

About the Author:

Photo of Peter ArndsPeter Arnds is the Director of the MPhil. in Comparative Literature at Trinity College Dublin. His current research examines the links between cultural production and species politics as well as the philosophy of walking in world literature. He is a member of the PEN Centre for German-Speaking Writers Abroad and of Academia Europaea. He has published countless papers in the fields of Comparative Literature, German and Italian Studies, Holocaust Studies, and the Environmental Humanities, including four academic books, a translated book, a book of poetry, and his debut novel, Searching for Alice.

Book Description:

Situated at the junction of literature, politics, and ecocriticism, Wolves at the Door traces the history of the wolf metaphor in discussions of race, gender, colonialism, fascism, and ecology.

Arnds’ book examines questions such as:

  • How have ‘Gypsies’, Jews, Native Americans but also ‘wayward’ women been ‘wolfed’ in literature and politics?
  • How has the wolf myth been exploited by Hitler, Mussolini and Turkish ultra-nationalism?
  • How do right-wing politicians today exploit the reappearance of wolves in Central Europe in the context of the migration discourse?
  • And while their reintroduction in places like Yellowstone has fuelled heated debates, what is the wolf’s role in ecological rewilding and for the restoration of biodiversity?

In today’s fraught political climate, Wolves at the Door alerts readers to the links between stereotypical images, their cultural history, and their political consequences. It raises awareness about xenophobia and the dangers of nationalist idolatry, but also highlights how literature and the visual arts employ the wolf myth for alternative messages of tolerance and cultural diversity. In view of the current rhetoric surrounding the global migrant crisis – with politicians comparing refugees with animals and media reports warning of migrants swarming like insects or trespassing like wolves – this timely study explores the cultural origins of the language and imagery of dehumanisation.


Preliminary Event Programme – 9 June 2021

13:00 – 13:05 |  Welcome & Introducing the author, Peter Arnds
13:05 – 13:15  |  Brief Overview of the Book (by moderator: Nicole Basaraba)
13:15 – 13:35  |  A moderated discussion with Peter about his book
13:35 – 13:55 |  Questions from the audience
13:55 – 14:00 |  Wrap-up

Event moderator:

Nicole Basaraba, currently a Postdoctoral Researcher at Maastricht University, and formerly co-supervised by Peter Arnds, Jennifer Edmond, and Owen Conlan as a PhD student in Digital Humanities at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.

Note: the event will take place on Zoom and a link will be sent out after you register.

Register for the online book launch event here!


Get your copy of Wolves at the Door via Bloomsbury!