Canine Histories, Biopolitics and the Urban: a discussion of Philip Howell's At Home and Astray: The Domestic Dog in Victorian Britain

Type: Panel
Sponsor Groups: Animal Geography Specialty Group, Historical Geography Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/10/2018
Start / End Time: 12:40 PM / 2:20 PM (MDT)
Room: Edgewood AB, Sheraton, 4th Floor
Organizers: Maan Barua
Chairs: Maan Barua


Phil Howell’s book At Home and Astray (2015) is an exciting intervention in historical animal geographies. Animal geographies have proliferated since its inception over two decades ago (Philo, 1995; Wolch and Emel, 1998; Wolch, 1996), but much of its emphasis has been on the present. Questions raised by this book – the ‘invention’ of the modern dog in Victorian London, shifting human-animal relations in urban spaces, and ways in which these relations reconfigure everyday life – are of paramount importance for geographical thinking about how human collectives and action have been historically configured through entanglements with nonhuman others. This panel discussion seeks to query and examine how geographers might engage with some of the pertinent discussions raised by the text, particularly the kinds of histories of urban life and governance at stake when the nonhuman is brought into the fold. More specifically, what would an archive of such histories look like (Lorimer, 2009), and how might they be read (Barua, 2014)? What do these canine histories tell us about biopolitics, which might not be the same everywhere (Srinivasan, 2013)? What do histories of human-dog relations offer up for thinking about urban composition and governance (Ginn, 2013)? The panel aims to invite three speakers to set up a series of provocations on these themes, followed by responses by the author.


Type Details Minutes
Introduction Maan Barua University of Oxford 5
Panelist Franklin Ginn 15
Discussant Yamini Narayanan Deakin University 15
Discussant Philip Howell University of Cambridge 20

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