The multispecies commons is the kind of place in which human-animal entanglements are made most explicit. It is where social, biological and historical processes are so inextricably entwined with wider ecological processes as to be inseparable. Here I describe one such place: the area outside a gate in the ancient, defensive wall around the historic city of Harar, Ethiopia. It was at this place that a solitary, poisoned hyena set in motion a series of events which culminated in a conflict between two hyena clans; a conflict in which the local humans were participants. To gain an understanding of the events I follow the threads of histories, landscapes, territoriality and social engagement between species to reveal how this place demands interdisciplinary study. It dramatically exemplifies the ways in which humans and non-humans are entangled in more-than-social processes through which they co-shape each others' worlds. The multispecies commons explicitly deconstructs limited conceptions of the social and weaves them back together with multiple other threads that coalesce to create a greater, tangled web of ecological processes.
|Number of pages||18|
|Journal||Social Science Information|
|Publication status||Published - 2013|
- human–animal relations
- multispecies commons
- mutual co-shaping
- spotted hyenas