EASA2018: Staying, Moving, Settling

(P158)
Double others? Non-human migrants and changing moral economies of hunting
Location SO-F497
Date and Start Time 16 Aug, 2018 at 09:00
Sessions 1

Convenors

  • Ludek Broz (The Czech Academy of Sciences) email
  • Erica von Essen (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences) email

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Short abstract

This panel proposes to explore cases of non-human migration and their resonance and consequences in the moral economy of wildlife and in the necropolitics - the (in)formally coded decisions of what lives or dies - pursued in contemporary hunting cultures.

Long abstract

Dystopias of invasion feature prominently not only in popular conceptualisations of human migration e.g. during the so-called refugee crises and its aftermath. Hunting cultures across Europe have been for long time subscribing to strikingly similar imagery describing migrating non-human animals as transgressing physical, symbolic and moral boundaries. It seems obvious that processes of globalization and climate change induce changes in the spatiality and logic of interspecies coexistence across these borders. Yet, how are those modes of coexistence established, maintained or challenged on the ground? When are animals treated as 'legitimate returnees,' 'precious visitors,' welcome extensions of the list of game animal species, or are simply ignored by human gamekeepers, and when (and how?) do they become invading intruders to be eradicated? Such unwelcome animal migrants become double others - other to humans and other to indigenous animal inhabitants of a particular territory, in comparison to who they lead life of 'animal sacrum' (after homo sacer, a kind of outlaw).

In this panel, we invite submissions that explore along which new boundaries and axes non-human species are excluded and 'othered', what sorts of ethical regimes these reflect, and what the non-human and human cases of migration have in common. We further invite panellists to empirically engage with and theoretically conceptualize how migration of animals imparts changes in the moral economy of wildlife and in the necropolitics - the (in)formally coded decisions of what lives or dies - pursued in contemporary hunting cultures.

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.

Papers

Double Others and the Negotiation of Wildlife Belonging in Europe

Authors: Ludek Broz (The Czech Academy of Sciences) email
Erica von Essen (Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences) email
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Short abstract

This paper explores cases of non-human migration and their resonance and consequences in the moral economy of wildlife and in the necropolitics - the (in)formally coded decisions of what lives or dies - pursued in contemporary hunting cultures.

Long abstract

Dystopias of invasion feature prominently not only in popular conceptualisations of human migration e.g. during the so-called refugee crises and its aftermath. As evidenced not least in the recent proposals to erect 'great walls' to fence out wild boars in Poland and in Denmark, European hunters also subscribe to strikingly similar imagery describing migrating non-human animals as transgressing physical, symbolic and moral boundaries. In this paper we aim at elucidating how post-migration modes of coexistence are established, maintained or challenged on the ground. We ask: when are animals treated as 'legitimate returnees,' 'precious visitors,' welcome extensions of the list of game animal species, or are simply ignored by human gamekeepers, and when do they become invading intruders to be eradicated? Such unwelcome animal migrants become double others - other to humans and other to indigenous animal inhabitants of a particular territory. They lead life of 'animal sacrum' (after homo sacer, a kind of outlaw).

Otherness has been a staple theme of social and cultural anthropology in both, asking how to study it and theorize it and in asking how ethnographer's interlocutors themselves conceptualize it. Looking at empirical cases presented within the panel as well as those taken from our own work, including wolves and wild boars, we formulate the concept of "doubled otherness". We propose the processes of double-othering shape identity and alterity and facilitate necropolitics - the (in)formally coded decisions of what lives or dies - pursued in contemporary hunting cultures and beyond.

From Indigenous Hunting Rights to Transnational Trophy Hunters: Killing Polar Bears in Canada

Author: Jane Desmond (University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign) email
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Short abstract

This paper examines transnational polar bear trophy hunting by U.S. hunters who purchase Indigenous Canadian hunters' rights to kill the endangered bears, through a frame of necropolitics. Who has the right to kill? Should it be for sale? Under what conditions is this right transferred?

Long abstract

Transnational Hunters, Indigenous Hunting Rights, and Killing Polar Bears in Canada

"Big Game" hunters fly around the world from "first world" nations to elsewhere, to kill mega-fauna to put on their walls: caribou, elephants, rhinoceros, polar bears and many other rare or endangered species are the targets. In the U.S., Trump's recent backpeddling on a ban on imports of such "trophies" has caused outrage among animal protectionists, but that is just a symptom of a wider global phenomenon of the sale of the right to kill.

This paper takes as its case study the sale by some Indigenous Canadians of their right to hunt polar bears, a right sold to non-indigenous, non-Canadian hunters from the U.S. who pay up to $40,000 to kill a polar bear, and then put it on their wall as a trophy--articulating a complex moral economy of wildlife life, death and commodification--a mobile necropolitics.

How can we understand this phenomenon?

We can reconfigure the competing notions of rights and conservation by reframing them in the language of bioethics. Who has the right to kill whom? Under what conditions is this right transferred? Should the right to kill be for sale? Why? Why not?

This paper will examine treaty rights, the opinions of Indigenous hunters, competing claims by international animal activists, and the rhetoric of the big game hunting outfitters themselves to chart the concepts of ethics, rights, identity, and the value of animals that underpin this complex phenomenon of border crossings.

Nonhuman mobiles and feral ecologies: urban parakeets in London

Author: Maan Barua (University of Cambridge) email
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Short abstract

Focusing on London's non-native Parakeets, this paper examines the implications nonhuman mobiles have for rethinking the politics and ecologies of urban accommodation and expulsion. Feral ecologies, it argues, provide critical insights into notions of cosmopolitan difference and accommodation.

Long abstract

This paper examines the implications nonhuman mobiles have for rethinking the politics and ecologies of accommodation and expulsion. Focusing on London's Rose-ringed Parakeets, a 'non-native' that has established itself in a cosmopolitan metropole, it makes three inter-related arguments. Firstly, it shows how nonhuman mobility has become central to defining nature in urban spaces. Secondly, tracing histories of defining native and non-native species, the paper examines how parakeets are constituted as unwelcome others, to be subject to practices of eradication and control. Thirdly, it foregrounds ways in which the feral might be constitutive of a 'cosmopolitan urban ecology' exceeding design and deliberation. The paper concludes by discussing the implications of nonhuman mobility for both reconceptualizing urbanicity and how the urban might accommodate the feral.

This panel is closed to new paper proposals.