Andrea Petitt: "Ethnography of a gendered multi-species triad"

  • Date: –12:00
  • Location: Engelska parken - Eng3-2028; Campus Gotland - E48 (video)
  • Organiser: Department of Cultural Anthropology and Ethnology
  • Contact person: Susann Baez Ullberg, Don Kulick
  • Seminarium

The Research Seminar in Cultural Anthropology

Andrea Petitt, Department of Gender Studies, Uppsala University: "Ethnography of a gendered multi-species triad"

In my VR international post-doc project: Global equestrian cultures in change: New gendered human-horse relations emerging from Western riding?, I focus on the human-horse-cattle triad and how it is gendered. Gendered associations of Western riding diverge from those of classic ‘English’ horse riding and with the dramatic growth of Western riding, including its focus on interacting with cattle, in Sweden there is a potential for a renegotiation of gender relations in horse activities. Western riding is also emerging in Swedish agricultural practices of cattle production. What is more, an increased interest around the USA – from where Swedish Western riding draws inspiration -  in ‘Natural Horsemanship’ that promotes ‘gentler’ approaches than the ‘older’ Western practices has led to the renegotiation of masculinities by Western riding icons of the American west. What kind of gendered expressions of Western riding that the human-horse-cattle triad in Sweden embody is thus not obvious. In order to understand how contemporary gender relations in a globalized equine culture have local implications, this project explores how they are negotiated through human-horse-cattle relations at their origin, the USA, and how they are reproduced or challenged in Sweden. Through ethnographic field studies in Sweden and in the USA, including both sport and agricultural activities, this research explores how dynamic human-horse relations in Western riding in Sweden shape and are shaped by gender and interactions with cattle as well as how these reproduce or challenge contemporary expressions of gendered human-horse-cattle relations in the USA.