Cobra Grande: An Amazonian Vision of Human-Environmental Relations

By Nicholas C. Kawa, Ball State University § On a Saturday morning in late October, I accompanied my friend Cândida and her four brothers on a fishing trip to Lago Comprido, a seasonal lake found on an island in the middle of the Madeira River. When we arrived, we crossed swamps on fallen logs and then […]

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Multispecies Methodologies and Human-Elephant Relations

Piers Locke, University of Canterbury and Paul Keil, Macquarie University  § The recent ferment of multispecies research and writing in the humanities and social sciences has redirected our focus to the materiality of lived experience in the biophysical world we share with other species. In so doing, not only has it opened up exciting challenges of intellectual […]

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The Limpkin: A Poem and Short Essay

By Zachary Caple, University of California, Santa Cruz § The Limpkin Lover of the trashiest shorelines, the limpkin is an ibis made plainer, browner. Flecked white collar and long proboscis, it makes a living along the dock-stamped littorals and dingy canals of Florida. I got my first good look at a limpkin in a phosphate […]

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Becoming Human with Others in the Anthropocene: The Long View

By Agustín Fuentes, University of Notre Dame § We shape and are shaped by our caretaking, consumption, manipulation of, destruction of and compassion for other beings. Human evolution is a multispecies endeavor, a current in which humans and our companion species have always been caught. This process of entanglement is more pervasive and broadly distributed […]

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Animals, Humans, and Forms of Life

By Maya Ratnam, Johns Hopkins University § In what ways do we humans share lives with nonhuman animals? What are our ethical commitments towards them? What kinds of moral worlds is it possible for humans and nonhumans to cohabit? These questions have preoccupied not just moral philosophers but also anthropologists working in diverse ecological and […]

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Multispecies Ethnography and Social Hierarchy

By Juno Salazar Parreñas, The Ohio State University § Ethnographic research often gets divided between “studying up” via Laura Nader (1972 [1964]) and studying with “a view from below” via E. P. Thompson (Thompson 1968). Both approaches offer important ways for understanding social relations, but they don’t quite work for multispecies ethnography. Let’s consider studying […]

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Ethnography of Life Forms

By John Hartigan, University of Texas § One of the pressing concerns in multispecies research is how to extend and apply our analytics across species boundaries. The difference between, say, “a cultural history of plants” and an account that purports to render plants as ethnographic subjects is rather stark. The former is interested in these […]

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