Having come from a ‘hard’ science background (ecology and evolutionary biology) and then moving on to animal behavioural science (primatology) for my postgraduate degrees, I have had a lifelong interest in how humans biologically, culturally, psychologically, emotionally, symbolically and philosophically relate to the rest of life on earth. I straddle both biological and social anthropology, engaged in ‘traditional’ animal studies in addition to critical animal studies, wherein I explore the ethics, representation and context for how animal (ethology) is reported and interpreted. My goal is to not only point to the fact that Homo sapiens are animals, but to start to grapple with the implications of that obvious biological reality. Recently I have transferred this ecofeminist, postcolonial, posthumanist mindset to a grassroots form of activism: teaching. I hope that I can take young people into nature to develop the sort of wonder and awe - and connection - that leads to proenvironmental behaviour and concerns. By rewriting the narrative we have about our relationship to the more-than-human world, I am investing hope that future generations can move away from well-entrenched systems of exploitation and oppression towards newly-emerging-but-also-long-forgotten sustainable systems of care and respect.
Hendershott, Dr Rebecca
Research interests / activities