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P234


Animal (im)mobilities 
Convenors:
Vanessa Bateman (Maastricht University)
Raf De Bont (Maastricht University)
Tom Quick (Maastricht Univerisity)
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Format:
Traditional Open Panel

Short Abstract:

Throughout the world, new-fangled technologies, ever-more complicated administrative procedures, and legal instruments monitor and regulate the movement of non-human lives. Through historical and contemporary case studies, this panel will unpack their social and moral dimensions.

Long Abstract:

The last century has seen drastic changes in human-animal interactions. Many of these interactions concern the (im)mobility of non-human animals. Airport protocols have been devised to keep out invasive pests; special fences are given out to sheep farmers to protect herds from roaming wolves; trackers monitor precious reintroduced marmots and migrating storks. Throughout the world, new-fangled technologies, ever-more complicated administrative procedures, and legal instruments monitor and regulate the movement of non-human lives. As STS scholars know, these technologies, procedures, and instruments embody particular norms. They assign value to particular life forms over others. They also emanate a moral geography of where non-human animals ultimately belong – enabling the movement of some, and halting those of others. As such, the topic clearly concerns STS issues, but also has the potential to create conversations with scholars in environmental history, mobility studies, critical geography, and human-animal studies.

Drawing on the aforementioned fields, this panel seeks to explore the construction of animal (im)mobility 'in the making.' Animal mobility – whether in the context of conservation, wildlife management, or eradication campaigns – is often discussed in highly technical terms. Through historical and contemporary case studies, however, we would like to unpack its social and moral dimensions and make them the object of societal discussion. This will enable further reflection on the role of STS (and the social sciences and the humanities more generally) in the rethinking of mobility for a more-than-human future.

Accepted papers: