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Troubling with wildness: (un)doing human-animal relationships in the Anthropocene 
Ferran Pons-Raga (Spanish National Research Council (IPNA-CSIC))
Pablo Rojas-Bahamonde (Wageningen University)
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Tuesday 23 July, -, -
Time zone: Europe/Madrid
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Short Abstract:

This panel aims to rethink the conceptualizations, frictions, and management of the wild in the Anthropocene. Inspired by Cronon’s depiction of wilderness, wildness is taken to invite ethnographic research on human-animal relationships to revise the wild/domestic as a pervasive frontier

Long Abstract:

The panel pays homage to Cronon’s famous piece, “The trouble with wilderness”, as a means of rethinking the conceptualizations, frictions, and management of the wild through human-animal relationships. Drawing from the two foundational elements of the cultural construction of wilderness, the sublime and the frontier, we aim to examine the concept of wildness as a way to frame human-animal relationships that are blurring the lines as never before between the natural, cultural, rural, and urban. We thus propose to think of wildness through the lens of the shift from the sublime into the mundane, and from the ‘out there’ spatial frontier of wilderness to a more diffuse, pervasive, and even ubiquitous one, existing between the wild and the domestic in the Anthropocene. By using this concept, we seek to highlight that the renewed version of the wild, which is now pervasive and spreading more extensively than ever into our everyday lives, is conditioned and exacerbated by the current dialectics between the social and the natural. These dialectics are creating new scenarios in which the boundaries between the wild and the domesticated are constantly redefined. Feral cats that belong to a domestic species, wild horses that are tamed to make them behave as savage, and boars occupying and expanding in urban niches are just a few examples that illustrate the theoretical scope of this panel. We thus call for ethnographies of human-animal relationships that shed light on the re-conceptualization of the wild/domestic as a pervasive frontier that is constantly being (un)done

Accepted papers:

Session 1 Tuesday 23 July, 2024, -
Session 2 Tuesday 23 July, 2024, -