Katherine Tigner Hanson

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Texas, San Antonio, U. of

Grant number

Gr. 10686

Approve Date

April 15, 2024

Project Title

Hanson, Katherine (Texas, San Antonio, U. of) ""The primates themselves": Multispecies meaning-making in primate field schools"

Building on recent work at the nexus of primatology, science studies, and multispecies anthropology, this research investigates the significance of primate field schools within the discipline of primatology, and more broadly how knowledge is created with nonhumans. Primate field schools are often regarded as an obligatory rite of passage into the world of field primatology, shaping generations of future researchers and offering a valuable source of inquiry about the subdiscipline. This project has four objectives: (1) to assess the influence of primate field schools as a primary training experience for primatologists; (2) to examine how field schools transmit primatological knowledge and communicate epistemic, ethical, and practical values; (3) to understand how field school participants and primate study groups mutually shape knowledge, practice, and experience during the field school; and (4) to explore the impact of this relational dynamic beyond the course. To empirically examine field schools, I adopt the ethnoprimatological approach, a research framework that blends traditional ethology with ethnographic techniques. I document field schools as they unfold by merging primate behavioral data with participant observation and in-depth interviewing. Additionally, I use survey methods and content analysis of field school materials to investigate primate field schools beyond their physical boundaries.