Living Beings : Perspectives on Interspecies Engagements book cover
1st Edition

Living Beings
Perspectives on Interspecies Engagements

Edited By

Penelope Dransart

ISBN 9780857858429
Published December 18, 2014 by Routledge
232 Pages

USD $42.95

Prices & shipping based on shipping country


Book Description

Living Beings examines the vital characteristics of social interactions between living beings, including humans, other animals and trees.Many discussions of such relationships highlight the exceptional qualities of the human members of the category, insisting for instance on their religious beliefs or creativity. In contrast, the international case studies in this volume dissect views based on hierarchical oppositions between human and other living beings. Although human practices may sometimes appear to exist in a realm beyond nature, they are nevertheless subject to the pull of natural forces. These forces may be brought into prominence through a consideration of the interactions between human beings and other inhabitants of the natural world.The interplay in this book between social anthropologists, philosophers and artists cuts across species divisions to examine the experiential dimensions of interspecies engagements. In ethnographically and/or historically contextualized chapters, contributors examine the juxtaposition of human and other living beings in the light of themes such as wildlife safaris, violence, difference, mimicry, simulation, spiritual renewal, dress and language.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Living Beings and Vital PowersPenny Dransart, University of Wales, Trinity St David, UKInterspecies Interaction Being-together with Animals: Death, Violence and Non-cruelty in Hindu Imagination.Veena Das, Johns Hopkins University, USASymbolic Meanings Between People and Trees/ForestsThe Nature of Nature in Ramon LlullSarah Jane Boss, Roehampton University, UKThe Tree of Guernica: Political Poetics of Rootedness and BelongingSafet Hadzimuhamedovic, Goldsmiths, University of London, UKBringing the Forest to the City: Spaces Imagined in Israeli ‘Sacred Song Circles’Ronit Grossman-Horesh, The Open University of Israel/Tel-Aviv University, IsraelInterspecies Interaction in Physical SettingsSensuous Photographies: Living Things Explored through Phenomenological Practice Carole Baker, University of Plymouth, UKThe Field: An Art Experiment in Biopower in a Woodland Near Stansted Airport, EssexAlana Jelinek, Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology, University of Cambridge, UKHuman Responses to ‘Wildness’Hunting the Wild ‘Other’ to Become a Man: wildlife Tourism and the Modern Identity Crisis in Israeli Safaris to East AfricaRachel Ben David, Ben Gurion University of the Negev, IsraelBecoming Animal in the Chinese Martial ArtsD. S. Farrer, University of Guam, GuamMoral Issues in Engagements Between Animals and the Environment'Anthropomorphism', 'Anthropocentrism' and the Study of Language in PrimatesDavid Cockburn, University of Wales, Trinity St David, UKDressed in Furs: Clothing and Yaghan Multispecies Engagements in Tierra del FuegoPenelope Dransart, University of Wales, Trinity St David, UKBibliographyIndex

View More



Penelope Dransart is Reader in Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Wales Trinity Saint David, UK.


"[Living Beings] provides a stimulating new collection of ethnographic and historical perspectives on the ways in which other living beings are ‘good to think’, and are of vital material and metaphorical importance in human spirituality and creativity. - Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute Living Beings offers a lot to think about ... it indicates a serious and growing emphasis on the subject, and it shows that anthropology as well as other disciplines still have contributions to make. - Anthropology Review Database [This book] represent[s] a significant milestone for the multispecies turn and offer[s] some useful theoretical and methodological foundations ... Seasoned fieldworkers will find a refreshing new angle with which to analyse old fieldnotes and new projects. - Australian Journal of Anthropology Living Beings provides a multitude of interesting and innovative ways to rethink the relationship between humans and other-than-human beings. By pushing methodological and theoretical boundaries, the ideas presented in this volume will be especially inspiring to readers who are interested in interdisciplinary research projects with art and philosophy. - Anthropological Notebooks"