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Areas of interest
human-animal relations; value; (post)colonialism; political ecology; u.s.- indigenous politics; alaska
About my research
During the course of my ongoing fieldwork in the neighborhood of Hoonah, Alaska, my attention has been increasingly drawn to the place non-human animals hold in what would otherwise be considered essentially human political configurations. I am especially interested in how certain forms of engagement with animals as, say, resources, predicate capitalist property relations and colonial territoriality, thus illuminating an open terrain of struggle in which many humans and animals in Hoonah are materially involved. As part of an effort to bring attention to the contours of this struggle, my dissertation, Nature, Value and Territory in Alaskan Subsistence Politics: The View from Brown Bear Bay (Columbia University 2010) focuses on Alaskan subsistence politics, which consist at once of the continuous efforts of Alaska Natives to control hunting and fishing practice in their traditional territory, the political order such control might entail, and the challenges faced by a US federal bureaucracy charged with the difficult task of preserving some aspects of that order at the same time as its sovereign right to do so against an array of hostile forces. While I am still working hard on this project, my new research looks around the corners of subsistence at big game sport hunting, ecotourism and anything and everything about Alaskan coastal brown bears.