Multispecies methods and encounters in the field (includes: seeking nonhuman life in the AAG convention space)

Type: Panel
Sponsor Groups: Animal Geography Specialty Group
Poster #:
Day: 4/13/2018
Start / End Time: 5:20 PM / 7:00 PM (MDT)
Room: Bourbon Room, Astor, Mezzanine
Organizers: Clemens Driessen, Krithika Srinivasan
Chairs: Krithika Srinivasan


This panel investigates the scholarly and political potential of encounters with other animals. We will discuss the variety of ways in which geographers have sought to somehow render present actual nonhuman individuals or collectives. Moving beyond species as static phenomena with fixed behavioral repertoires, we will debate possibilities for engaging with animals as lively emergent characters. Creatures that are actively learning how to deal with us, while we are making sense of their lives and the ways in which these are entangled with ours.

What -if any- is the role of actually meeting the animals we describe and discuss? Does bringing animal individuals or collectives to the fore, as historical actors, idiosyncratic learners, or just awkwardly present, do anything to animal geography scholarship? And if so in what way are we to represent, promote or stage this presence, while navigating various moral and political positions?

Each panelist will use 10 minutes to bring forward a particular animal they have worked on and/or with: to discuss their experiences in the field, methodological concerns in rendering these animals somehow present, and questions regarding the role of personal encounter.

To enliven this panel, the organizers will use the first 15 minute slot to reveal the extent to which other lifeforms are present with us in the underground anthropocentric exclusion zones that makes the AAG convention space. A small crowd-sourced citizen-science effort at finding indoor wildlife, however inconspicuous or marginal, for us to encounter in the AAG convention center will have preceded this panel. Not so much to produce a comprehensive biogeography of the New Orleans Sheraton or Marriott hotels, but to start to explore what indoor encounters, or an awareness of the absence of visible other life forms, might do to set the stage for discussions of animal geographers.


Type Details Minutes
Introduction Clemens Driessen Wageningen University 20
Panelist Sharon Wilcox University of Wisconsin 10
Panelist Cara Clancy Plymouth University 10
Panelist Timothy Hodgetts University of Oxford 10
Discussant Yamini Narayanan Deakin University 10
Discussant Kathryn Gillespie Wesleyan University 10

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