Elephants as Persons, Affective Apprenticeship, and Fieldwork with Nonhuman Informants in Nepal (2017)
In this account of interspecies intimacy in the enclaved institution of the Nepali elephant stable, I explore not-just-human figurations of personhood and argue for the methodological inclusion of nonhuman informants as subjective actors and contributing participants in ethnographic research. I explain how my experience forming a trusting, working relationship with a female elephant in a hybrid community of humans and elephants revealed the conceptual limitations of a human-focused tradition of ethnography ill-equipped for the generative sociality of interspecies encounters. I discuss questions of nonhuman personhood and I consider developments in the animal behavioral sciences, while also investigating the cultural logic by which Nepali mahouts attribute personhood to their elephants. This exploration of apprenticeship, personhood, and affective encounter is situated in a distinctly interspecies strand of multispecies studies, and is a contribution to ethnoelephantology as an interdisciplinary approach to the social, historical, and ecological relations between humans and elephants.
CitationLocke PEG (2017). Elephants as Persons, Affective Apprenticeship, and Fieldwork with Nonhuman Informants in Nepal. HAU : Journal of Ethnographic Theory. 7(1). 353-376.
This citation is automatically generated and may be unreliable. Use as a guide only.
Keywordsapprenticeship learning; human-elephant relations; nonhuman personhood; multispecies studies; ethnoelephantology; mahouts; Nepal
ANZSRC Fields of Research44 - Human society::4410 - Sociology::441002 - Environmental sociology
50 - Philosophy and religious studies::5001 - Applied ethics::500101 - Bioethics
RightsThis work is licensed under the Creative Commons | © Piers Locke. ISSN 2049-1115 (Online). DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.14318/hau7.1.024
Showing items related by title, author, creator and subject.
Locke PEG (Rachel Carson Center, 2017)Piers Locke challenges the presuppositions of an anthropological education delimited in narrowly humanist-cultural terms. Recognizing elephants as moral actors in the institutional space of the elephant stable, he reconceives ...
Probyn-Rapsey, F.; Donaldson, S.; Ioannides, G.; Lea, T.; Marsh, K.; Neimanis, A.; Potts, A.; Taylor, Nik; Twine, R.; Wadiwel, D.; White, S. (2016)Under the remit of an expanded definition of sustainability – one that acknowledges animal agriculture as a key carbon intensive industry, and one that includes interspecies ethics as an integral part of social justice ...
Selecting Candidates for De-extinction and Resurrection: Mammoths, Lenin’s Tomb and Neo-Eurasianism Mondry H (2017)My paper explores links between the human and animal candidates for resurrection and deextinction and focuses on the aspect of nationalist agenda in application to both species. I explore the intersection between the ...