Human-animal relations

Our research starts from the idea that nature is deeply cultural. Landscapes are places we experience and sites where we encounter others, but also the product of projections of (national) identity. Especially natural landscapes and the ways we experience these are often orchestrated and idealized. Animals, whether domesticated or wild, are interesting beyond being static specimens of their species, and are increasingly found to respond to local conditions and historical relations. Their experiences, agency and newly emerging relations are then appealing to study together with the ways humans try to understand and manage them.

Interpreting our ever-changing relations with nature and animals requires new multispecies approaches that experiment with combining and rethinking disciplines such as history, ethnography and artistic design.

By engaging with the experiences and meanings of both humans and other animals, we extend the idea of material culture as something shared with animals. This generates new understandings of  of what it means to manage or care for animals in a variety of settings: in nature conservation, on farms, in zoos, and in relation to tourism and leisure.

Staff and PhD Candidates