Jones, O (2009) Close to: on the embodied, emplaced (and thus) geographical becomings of animals. In: Knowing Animals: Cross-Fertilization Between Natural and Social Sciences for Understanding the Quality of Life of Animals, 5-6 March 2009, Florence, Italy.


The proposal in this paper is that animal becoming and animal personhood is articulated in particular spatialised, embodied practices. These embodied practices are differently materialised and socialised in the particular and specific spatial narratives of individual animals’ lives, as well as being sketched out in their instinctive species’ repertoires. Animal enact - animal are - geographical embodied becomings. Thus geography, as the spatial science, has an intellectual, moral and political duty to engage with them. Their life is our trade – dealing with/in space. My aim is to develop animal geography by stressing various aspects of the spatialised, embodied becomings of animals. In particular, to answer the still very challenging questions – how do we ‘hear animal voices’ or ‘bring them into our accounts as others’ – the proposals are; pay close heed to their embodied, spatial practices, and to continuities between human and animal becoming. This involves getting close to animals and regarding them. It does not involve Deleuze and Guattari’s ‘becoming animal’, an approach which has been directly challenged by Haraway (2008). We can effectively get close to animals in a number of ways; scientific study; working with animals; artist (literary) practice; or simply by paying close attention to the animals we live with. Various themes are explored within this overall aim. These include seeing animals as strange persons (who look back), re-thinking anthropomorphism; questions of the open, ethics and welfare, and witnessing as a form of ‘knowing’ animal embodied becoming.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Divisions: College of Liberal Arts
Date Deposited: 26 May 2015 12:07
Last Modified: 29 Apr 2016 13:29
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