The Animal Geography Research Cluster (AnimGeo) brings together scholars in the School of Planning and Geography (CPLAN) and other departments across Cardiff University, who are concerned with forms of human-animal relations, the spaces that are co-produced by human and nonhuman animals, and the forms of cohabitations that they enable.
The AnimGeo encompasses a large variety of themes and concerns, including:
– Developing methodologies for a ‘more-than-human’ approach to human/nonhuman relations;
– Ethical issues in consumption practices of animal foods;
– The public understanding of the welfare of animals in food production systems;
– How new technologies affect human-animal relations on farms;
– Biosecurity and the regulation of animal health.
The work of the Cluster sets out with the premise that societies are ‘more-than-human’ – nonhuman animals are not merely the backdrop to human relationships but are co-productive of spaces, events, technologies, discourses and artefacts. Research in AnimGeo therefore explores the ways that animals are represented and positioned in relation to human activities but extends beyond this to explore their actions, identities and agency. This work has focused on a variety of spaces, including farms, oceans, slaughterhouses, homes, laboratories and rivers.
The AnimGeo’s research sits at the disciplinary interface of cultural geography, Science and Technology Studies (STS), animal studies and anthropology. Its work is at the cutting edge of both theoretical and methodological innovation. As such, its members have advanced theoretical perspectives in relation to animals including actor-network theory, biopolitics and assemblage theory, and have developed innovative methodological approaches involving multispecies ethnographies and visual methodologies. Members have also collaborated with natural scientists, animal welfare scientists and ethologists, developing cross- and inter-disciplinary methodologies and conversations.
Such collaborations have enhanced the contributions made by the AnimGeo to debates around policy and practice. Most notably, members have made significant contributions to the development of policy and practice in relation to the role of badgers in the spread of bovine tuberculosis, and to the formulation of new animal welfare protocols across the European Union.