I am currently conducting a multi-sited multispecies ethnography of Ezo red foxes (Vulpes vulpes schrencki) involved in the tourism industry in Japan. This research aims to shed light on tourists’ desire for close, embodied encounters with wild animals who are perceived as being ‘cute’ and the exploitation that can occur as a result. An example of this is ‘fox hugs’ in which tourists pay to hold and have their photograph taken with a fox. Through a transdisciplinary approach, I aim to evoke vulpine experience and explore the possibilities for respectful encounters between humans and red foxes through tourism. More broadly, I have interests in multispecies flourishing, entangled empathy and animal personhood.
Research interests / activities