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Durham University

Institute of Advanced Study

Professor Garry Marvin

“Never have I had, in such a short time, the opportunity to listen to, meet, and discuss with world-class scholars from such a diversity of disciplines. The single most important impact was that of being able to think carefully through issues relating to interdisciplinarity. ”

Professor Garry Marvin, University of Roehampton

IAS Fellow at Van Mildert College, Durham University (January – March 2015)


Garry Marvin is a social anthropologist and Professor of Human-Animal Studies at the University of Roehampton, London. His explorations of human-animal relationships began with his doctoral research into the bullfight in Spanish culture. Since then he has conducted ethnographic research, and published, on cockfighting; zoos; English foxhunting; the motivations and experiences of big game hunters; hunting trophies and taxidermy; and relations between humans and wolves. His recent publications include Wolf (Reaktion Books 2012) and, co-edited with Susan McHugh, The Handbook of Human-Animal Studies (Routledge 2014). Again with Susan McHugh, he has been invited to edit a four-volume series, Human-Animal Studies: Global Perspectives, for Routledge. He is on the editorial boards of the journals Society and Animals and Anthrozöos. With Nigel Rothfels he edits the book series Animalibus: Of Animals and Cultures for The Pennsylvania State University Press.

In 2013 Professor Marvin was part of an interdisciplinary, multi-university, project, Cultural and Scientific Perceptions of Human-Chicken Relations, awarded a £1.94 million grant by the AHRC as part of its Science in Culture programme. He is responsible for the social anthropology part of the project and will supervise 5 PhD students conducting ethnographic research into the cultures of humans and chickens.

Within the burgeoning meta-disciplinary field of Human-Animal Studies there is a growing interest in the possibilities and potentials for what has been termed ‘inter-species ethnography’ or ‘multi-species ethnography’ where close attention is paid to the specificities of the relationships between humans and other animals. This is something that interests him both in terms of theoretical perspectives and the grounded nature of such ethnography. While at the IAS Professor Marvin will be working up some final sections of an ethnographic account of hunting. He will also engage with anthropologists and other researchers at Durham on a multi-species project in a watery landscape nearby in preparation for a possible grant application.

IAS Fellow's Public Lecture - Beastly Anthropology: working in human-animal worlds

3rd February 2015, 17:30 to 18:30, Ustinov Room, Van Mildert College,
In keeping with the IAS theme of ‘emergence’, in this talk Professor Garry Marvin will consider the emergence of the inter/multi or perhaps metadisciplinary field of Human-Animal Studies. In recent years, through conversations between scholars, mainly in the humanities and social sciences, the relationships between humans and other animals have been brought from the margins of academic interest to new places of focus and interest. Animals have always been significant in the lives of humans and it could be argued that human societies and cultures have been built on, and with, animal lives. Professor Marvin will consider this emergence of Human-Animal Studies and what we might learn about human worlds when we pay attention to the mutually co-constituting relationships between people and other animals. In particular, and drawing on his research in the worlds of the Spanish bullfight, English foxhunting and other recreational hunting, he will offer some thoughts about what ethnographically-based anthropology contributes to this emergent field.

Professor Garry Marvin Publications