Home beyond species: More-than-human dwelling in the age of crises / Call for French (CNRS) project partner

Petr Gibas's picture
May 10, 2021
Czech Republic
Subject Fields: 
Anthropology, Eastern Europe History / Studies, Geography, Social Sciences, Urban History / Studies

This call is for French scholars (based at CNRS)

The aim of the TANDEM program is to associate two researchers, one from the AV ČR, one from the CNRS (French National Research Center), around a joint research project leading to the submission of an ERC project; for more info see: https://cefres.cz/fr/10342

At present, I am looking for possible French collaborators for a project to be proposed for Tandem grunt scheme - preliminarily titled:

Home beyond species: More-than-human dwelling in the age of crises

Recent and ongoing global crises – such as COVID-19 pandemic and climate change – with their local and localised impacts are both an outcome and manifestation of the intricate interdependence of humans with various non-humans. It is such crises that make clearly visible the omnipresent entanglement of humans in a web of more-than-human relations. Humans share their home(s) with non-humans, living as well as inanimate. Yet, as the crises, such as the unending migration crisis, also highlight, home as a place of dwelling occupies and stretches over different geographical scales, from the most personal places such as bedrooms, flats and houses, to gardens, cities and landscapes, and ultimately the whole planet. On these many scales, humans co-inhabit and co-create home together with other animals, plants and fungi and in dependence on inanimate materialities and technologies. In fact, the mentioned crises have been made possible and/or exacerbated by these more-than-human entanglements and have rendered them visible (and tangible) even more than before. And yet, neither scholarly nor everyday understanding of home sufficiently acknowledges the inseparability of the human and the non-human in dwelling. In this respect, the crises might also be seen as one of many far reaching consequences of keeping the human and non-human separate – in thought as well as in (political) practice.
In response to the frequently overlooked but imperative role of non-humans in the lives and dwelling(s) of humans, “Home beyond species”  interrogates the more-than-human entanglements that underpin contemporary home(s) on a variety of geographical scales, and explores the implications of taking the more-than-human aspects of dwelling seriously. It investigates ideas & imaginaries, experiences & emotionalities, and practices & technologies related to contemporary more-than-human co-habitation, its varieties and late modern transformations. By studying selected, localised cases of dwelling in which the more-than-human interdependences and their transformations are well discernible, the project scrutinizes “home beyond species” as a theme and topic of scholarly inquiry and probes its potential for a better understanding of the challenges and transformations late modern humanity is confronted with:
How does acknowledging of the more-than-human entanglements challenge the established notions of home, both scholarly and commonplace? To engage with home beyond prioritizing humans, i.e. consider home beyond human species, represents a shift in focus for social science which looks at but often overlooks the more-than-human dimension of what surrounds us. How can we as scientists devoted to the study of humans (and their dwelling) reflect on encountering non-humans at and around home? What new conceptual terrains can be opened up by inviting non-humans into our thinking about human dwelling(s)? How can social science become sensitised, epistemologically and methodologically, in order to better engage with and approach the more-than-human complexities of dwellings? How can social scientists productively study post-anthropocentric home in its diversified, localised forms? And what lessons for more inclusive, sustainable dwelling both local and planet-wide, can be learned from such studies, from particular examples of more-than-human co-habitation and its late modern transformations?
The project is based on empirical and conceptual exploration of particular examples of more-than-human dwelling that enable us to investigate home beyond species across geographical scales with particular emphasis on three interrelated levels of ideas & imaginaries, experiences & emotionalities, and practices & technologies. The project targets the immediate places of dwelling and the interplay of humans and living (pets, pests) and related inanimate (technologies, such as pest control, pet care devices, etc.) non-humans; it stretches beyond the confines of immediate homes by looking at the interplay of care for and with the help of non-humans in urban settings (e.g. flower planting, urban gardening) as well as the ways in which homes become part of wider more-than-human entanglements (via e.g. smart technologies of home control, energy efficiency, etc.). For doing so, the project draws scholarly inspiration from post-humanities, more-than-human geographies, human-animal studies while responding to issues currently developed within home studies (at the intersection of urban & cultural geographies and socio-cultural anthropology).

Petr Gibas, Ph. D. // petr.gibas@soc.cas.cz

@ researchgate: https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Petr-Gibas

@ academia.edu: https://cas-cz.academia.edu/PetrGibas


Contact Info: 

Petr Gibas, Ph. D.

Institute of Sociology

Czedch Academy of Sciences

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