Exploring the human-animal-technology nexus: power relations and divergent conduct

Authors: Lewis Holloway*, University of Hull, Christopher Bear, Cardiff University
Topics: Animal Geographies
Keywords: Resistance; Transgression; Divergent conduct; More-than-human; Geography
Session Type: Virtual Lightning Paper
Day: 4/7/2021
Start / End Time: 4:40 PM / 5:55 PM
Room: Virtual 2
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


This paper develops an agenda for discussing less-than-convivial more-than-human relations. It reviews existing work on such relations before developing a terminology of ‘divergent conduct’ aiming to better express such relationships. The paper uses empirical case studies of automated milking systems and endemic diseases, and focuses on the relationships between farming systems, humans, and cows in specific places. Divergent conduct aims to express how humans and nonhumans co-produce activities which are likely to differ from accounts of trouble-free introductions of farming systems. The concept emphasises the agency of animals while paying attention to their relationships with people and machines. As such, it emphasises how farming is constituted in relation to multiple human and nonhuman requirements, and their related conducts, which may pull in different directions. The paper argues that divergent conduct provides a way of exploring problematic entanglements in which inequalities of power can be many-layered and intersectional.

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