Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationEmory U.
Grant numberGr. 9804
Approve DateApril 30, 2019
Project TitleCairangben, Tsering (Emory U.) "Understanding Human-Wildlife Interactions: Multispecies Entanglements in Contemporary Tibet"
Amid global concerns for human-induced ecological problems, recent academic debates and public inquiries emphasize the role of anthropogenic factors for the decline in key wildlife species. However, this project takes a different approach by examining the impacts of wildlife on human populations, particularly in the context of successful wildlife conservation efforts in contemporary Tibet. The research investigates the intended and unintended consequences of state-driven conservation efforts, and explores the specific ways through which legally protected wildlife species transform pastoralist livelihood practices, produce new forms of power dynamics, and change sociopolitical relationships amongst local communities. Conceptually, the project integrates theories and approaches in political ecology, multispecies ethnography, and theories in political anthropology and human geography to extend inquiries beyond solely human worlds. In this sense, the project seeks ways to interpret pastoralist-state relations in Tibet through observations of human-wildlife interactions in particular, and social transformation in Tibet more generally. In doing so, it extends the boundaries of environmental anthropology by recognizing wildlife not as categories of endangered and vulnerable species, but as living beings that can transform the sociocultural and political lives of humans.