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Taxidermy workshops: differently figuring the working of bodies and bodies at work in the past

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages15
JournalTransactions of the Institute of British Geographers
Early online date23 Dec 2016
DOIs
DateAccepted/In press - 11 Nov 2016
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 23 Dec 2016

Abstract

Geographers have long demonstrated an interest in charting the geographical and bodily dynamics of work and employment. However within this scholarship very little attention has been paid to historical geographies of craftwork. This paper seeks to address this deficit whilst also engaging with the evident and evidentiary methodological issues associated with the historical study of practices worked through the body. To do so the paper experiments in the recuperation of the working spaces and working practice of three Scottish taxidermists. The creative challenge of this type of recovery work is to ascertain what can conceivably be said from those things that remain to mark the working of bodies and bodies at work at these sites. Yet from curated remainders we glean vital insights into the practices and class politics of 19th century natural history enquiry, the silenced agencies of a workshop devastated by WW1 and the more-than-human histories of elite blood sports and land ownership in the Scottish Highlands. And this is to emphasise that these materials, even in their textual representation in this paper, count: that they can create knowledge and invite affective experience of the past. Overall the paper seeks to emphasise the serious commitment to conceptual and methodological innovation required when geographers engage in researching bodies (both human and animal) ‘at work’ in the past.

    Research areas

  • taxidermy, craftwork, biography, workshop, animal, ad-hoc archiving

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  • Full-text PDF (accepted author manuscript)

    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via Wiley at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/tran.12171/abstract. Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 1 MB, PDF-document

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