Sensuous and spatial multispecies ethnography as a vehicle to the re-enchantment of everyday life: A case study of knowing bees

Authors: Rebecca Ellis*, University of Western Ontario
Topics: Animal Geographies, Cultural and Political Ecology, Human-Environment Geography
Keywords: animal geographies, multispecies ethnography, social reproduction theory, bees, apiculture, Marxist feminism
Session Type: Virtual Lightning Paper
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Multispecies ethnography has the potential to allow humans to know nonhuman animals in ways that are complex, intimate, and relational. In doing so, this method can play a particularly important role in being a “mode of wonder” (Ogden et al. 2013, p. 16) in a time of climate breakdown, global defaunation, and uncertainty. In this chapter I will argue that sensuous, spatially-grounded multispecies ethnography fills several gaps within animal geographies and can be a key method deployed in understanding animal subjectivity. Multispecies ethnography that is spatial and sensuous may be one way in which animal geographies might ignite this sense of wonder, potentially contributing to, in the words of Silvia Federici (2019) the “re-enchantment of the world”. Building on the concept of multispecies ethnography as a mode of wonder, I will explore how a sensuous and spatial ethnography can go beyond understanding animals but begin to intimately know them.

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