I am an ESRC SeNSS Post-Doctoral Fellow at Goldsmiths mentored by Dr Mariam Motamedi-Fraser. Unknowing Animals is working on PhD research undertaken at the University of Manchester. My research explores, through ethnographic engagement, the epistemologies and ontologies of professional animal behaviour experts, and the implications of that knowledge for animal agency, subjectivity, and the human-animal relationship. I have a particular interest in the rise of “critical anthropomorphism”, a methodological approach which balances qualitative, “anthropomorphic” interpretations of animal behaviour with some kind of “critical” check on that interpretation – often scientific, but sometimes attentional or phenomenological. Fascinated by the possibilities of, and problems with, multi-species ethnography, I also run workshops in how the experience of nonhuman animals might be more closely attended to.
I came to university a little later than most. I originally trained as an actor (Maisie Bryceland). My experience of that work has influenced a lot of my thinking, particularly around embodied social interaction, phenomenology and sensory methodologies. I also have experience as a professional animal welfare campaigner, and am the co-founder, Board Director and former Executive Director of the award-winning Crustacean Compassion.
I live in London.