Dog person: nature–cultures of more-than-human kinship in Edinburgh and on the internet
Han, Maythe Seung-Won
This dissertation is an ethnographic bricolage of portraitures of dogs and their humans in Edinburgh and on the internet. Through stories of dogs and dog people before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, it explores the formations, negotiations, and maintenance of knowledge, childhood, race, loneliness, class, and music in the nature–cultures of more-than-human kinship. In the chapters, I navigate the diverse and (sometimes) contradictory collections of sentiments, sensibilities and subjectivities as produced by and projected onto bodies and movements while situating them in the temporally and spatially specific contexts of Edinburgh and the internet from 2019 to 2020. At the heart of this work is (more-than-human/multispecies) kinship, seen as a form of domestication with intended and unintended consequences. Even though warmth, joy, and companionship of more-than-human kin relations did endure and flourish, so did conflicts, hardships, and tensions. While kinship across the species boundary was described as a source and practice of unconditional love, the histories of selective dog breeding, neoliberal late-capitalism, and animalisation of racialised humans were also entangled with and permeated more-than-human kin- making. An exercise in staying with the trouble (Haraway 2016), kinship between dogs and their humans constantly meshed together the warm and the chilling, the fuzzy and the prickly, the comfortable and the tense. Building on more-than-human anthropology, anthropology of kinship, multidisciplinary human- animal studies, and anthrozoology, this dissertation speaks to wider questions and concerns about what it means to make kin with one another and how to live a good life together amidst various troubles of our time-space as well as its various reflections, refractions, and reverberations in the mundaneness of everyday life in Edinburgh and on the internet.