Research

page last updated 14 April 2022

Translating Multispecies Relationships in Central Norway

(c) Norsk seterkultur (link)

Supervised by Petra Tjitske Kalshoven and Jolynna Sinanan

Abstract updated: 2 June 2022

Growing concern about reliance on intensive agriculture invites the question of what other modes of multispecies sustenance relationship might have once been possible and might be possible or desirable again. Also within anthropology and archaeology, researchers are increasingly interested in how humans think/thought about and live/d with non-human animals. There is a growing tendency to acknowledge the multiple roles non-humans can play in human lives beyond mere commodities, exemplified for instance in the work of Marianne Lien, Anna Tsing, Donna Haraway and colleagues.

This project connects this awareness of the multifaceted nature of interspecies relationships with the sociopolitical context outlined above and takes as its starting point a curiosity about how alternative ideas about multispecies sustenance relationships enter into public consciousness via cultural heritage tourism.

Specifically, it seeks to answer the following three questions: How do archaeologists and farmers working in heritage tourism in Central Norway relate to reindeer and cattle through their work in a Saami museum and transhumance seter farms, respectively; how do they want tourists to walk away from the museum/farm relating to reindeer/cattle; and what is involved in achieving that aim?

These questions are unpacked in relation to literatures on relationship, care and translation. This project stands in solidarity with Indigenous people and other holders of Traditional Ecological Knowledge as experts and authorities on matters concerning local relationships between humans and non-humans.

Kazakh Placemaking in the Altai: Tourism in a Mongolian National Park

(c) Fiona Potter 2014

Supervised by Madeleine Reeves and William Wheeler

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, I had been planning to carry out my PhD research on a similar but different topic pertaining to multispecies (equine) tourism in western Mongolia. This project, which I hope to return to one day, focuses not only on relationships between humans and non-humans but also on how senses of place are created and communicated through sentimental songs about horses and other non-humans.

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