Shadows, Ambiguity, and More-Than-Human Politics

My first glimpse of a peccary/javelina at one of my fieldsites.

I am currently working on a manuscript exploring the ways that both literal and metaphorical shadows produce ambiguity in more-than-human communities. In order to be participating members of these communities, we have to find ways to engage in a politics that bridges evolutionary, ontological, and perceptual barriers.

I attempt to do so through the ethnographic exploration of a ranch in the Texas Hill Country where there is an active more-than-human community negotiating space daily.

6 Comments Add yours

  1. michaelkilman says:

    Have you read “How Forests Think?” If not check it out.


    1. Yes. I find his notion of “an ecology of selves” helpful but I’m concerned that his over-reliance on thought and semiotics obfuscates the more sensuous, pre-theoretical, pre-linguistic more-than-human community-making that occurs. I find David Abram, Eva Meijer, Donna Haraway, Isabelle Stengers, and Indigenous scholars like Vanessa Watts, Zoe Todd, and Kim Tallbear as more helpful interlocutors for the level of analysis and theoretical framing that I use.


      1. michaelkilman says:

        I’ve read Haraway but not the others. Suggested articles or books?


      2. Absolutely! Here are some articles and books that I find helpful:
        Watts, V. (2013). Indigenous place-thought and agency amongst humans and non humans (First Woman and Sky Woman go on a European world tour!). Decolonization: Indigeneity, Education & Society, 2(1).

        Todd, Zoe. “An indigenous feminist’s take on the ontological turn:‘Ontology’is just another word for colonialism.” Journal of historical sociology 29, no. 1 (2016): 4-22.

        Van Dooren, Thom, Eben Kirksey, and Ursula Münster. “Multispecies Studies: Cultivating Arts of Attentiveness.” Environmental Humanities 8, no. 1 (2016): 1-23.

        Abram, David. The spell of the sensuous: Perception and language in a more-than-human world. Vintage, 2012.

        Stengers, Isabelle. Cosmopolitics. Vol. 1. Minneapolis: University of Minnesota Press, 2010.

        Meijer, Eva. When animals speak: Toward an interspecies democracy. Vol. 1. NYU Press, 2019.

        Mezzenzana, Francesca. “Encountering Supai: An Ecology of Spiritual Perception in the Ecuadorian Amazon.” Ethos 46, no. 2 (2018): 275-295.


      3. michaelkilman says:

        Thank you very much! I’ll definitely check these out asap

        Liked by 1 person

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