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Crooked Cats: Beastly Encounters in the Anthropocene

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This talk will focus on the methodological ambitions of my recently released book – Crooked Cats. Building upon 15 years of research in the Indian Himalaya this book retells the story of big cats that make prey of humans through a centring of the climate crisis. There are many theories on why and how a big cat comes to prey on humans, with the ecological collapse emerging as a central explanatory factor. Yet, uncertainty over the precise cause of crookedness persists. Crooked Cats explores in vivid detail the many lived complexities that arise from this absence of certain knowledge to study both governance regimes for the nonhuman and inter-species entanglements. Through creative ethnographic storytelling, Crooked Cats illuminates the Anthropocene in three critical ways: as method, as a way of reframing human-nonhuman relations on the planet, and as a political tool indicating the urgency of academic engagement.

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