CfP POLLEN22: Other-than-Human Political Ecologies of Wildlife Conservation

Organised Paper Session:

Sayan Banerjee and Anindya Sinha

National Institute of Advanced Studies, Bangalore, India

Abstract

Political ecology (PE) has played a pivotal role in examining human–wildlife interactions and their implications for conservation practice. The most commonly researched themes in this domain include impacts of animals on people and related responses from different human actors; nonhuman-mediated re-ordering of landscapes, resource access, lives and livelihoods of local communities; or state-, market- and community-driven actions, their repercussions and the impacts of human social categories on interspecies interactions. While such scholarship has broken new grounds in the understanding of how power and inequality mediate environmental outcomes, the other-than-human has typically been relegated to being a mere object in these endeavours, or as lifeless entities upon which human meanings are inscribed.

This is not to say that PE has ignored such questions (Walker, 2005; Turner, 2015), although there is scope for far greater attention. There are a number of approaches in cognate sub-fields that are beginning to take other-than-human lives and subjectivities seriously in their accounts of social and political life. For instance, ‘more-than-human’ geographers have argued that landscapes and lives are co-constructed by both humans and nonhumans (Hinchcliffe, 2003) while others have called for the development of multispecies ethnographies (Kirksey & Helmreich, 2010), integration of individual- and collective animal subjectivities into geography (Bear, 2011), and the construction of dialogues between geography and ethology (Barua & Sinha, 2017). Recent scholarship (for example, Barua, 2014; Munster, 2016; Lorimer et al., 2017; Evans & Adams, 2018; Govindrajan, 2018; De Silva & Srinivasan, 2019), careful to being attentive to animal lives within the mesh of material and symbolic politics through space and time, have also been successful in demonstrating the purposefulness of more-than-human political ecologies or a political ecology that considers other-than-human lives vital. PE has also started attending to the vernacular ecologies/ethologies of other-than-humans, as centred by the place-based communities and the conservation politics associated with such beings.

This session invites papers from both, the Global North and South, engaging with other-than-humans as actors in the political ecologies of wildlife conservation. In order to develop a particular focus, we would like to limit our consideration of other-than-humans to wild or feral nonhuman species and examine what their lives can teach us about the PE of wildlife conservation or, in other words, explore the linkages between other-than-human agency, political processes and the broader conservation governance of wildlife. We will prioritise abstracts that fall within this scope and directly involve more-than-human perspectives. We thus hope to organise a diverse session, in terms of both presenters and the situatedness of the different empirical case studies that will be discussed.

If you would like to present a paper in our session, please send your abstract to sayan.workspace@gmail.com and anindya.rana.sinha@gmail.com, no later than December 5, 2021. The abstract should not exceed 250 words in length, excluding the title and author information.

We aim to submit our final proposal for an Organised Session, including selected contributions, to the POLLEN 2022 portal by December 12, 2021.

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