Honorary Research Fellow
The University of Aberdeen
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- Environmental Anthropology
- Multispecies Ethnography
- Anthropology of Learning and Enskilment
- Anthropology of Mood and Affect
- Socio-ecological Perspectives on Wellbeing and Health
- Anthropology of Britain and Europe
Sara A. Schroer's current research is situated in the field of environmental anthropology and multispecies ethnography and is concerned with how humans perceive, think about and relate to nonhuman living beings and their environments. In her research, that also incorporates perspectives from STS and the Environmental Humanities, she explores the conceptual, methodological, as well as ethical implications that arise when anthropologists open their analysis to other living beings as active participants in shared social worlds. A developing interest lies in the study of species extinction and its socio-ecological consequences for human and nonhuman communities. Through the lens of de-extinction experiments, she is here interested in developing research to explore how notions of future liveability and human wellbeing may be best approached as entangled within wider heterogeneous multispecies assemblages.
From October 2014 until June 2018 she has been Research Fellow at Arctic Domus, an interdisciplinary, ERC funded research project, based at the University of Aberdeen and led by Professor David Anderson. Here she has been interested in how the concept of domestication might be rethought through finding a more nuanced language to talk about the dynamism of human-animal sociality away from notions of absolute human domination or stark categories of the ‘wild’ and the ‘tame’. In her research she has been looking at the practices involved in captive breeding of birds of prey, which is based upon ethnographic fieldwork with falconers and breeders mainly in the UK. Her research particularly focused on the affective relationality of inter-species intimacy and technologies of breeding.
Her post-doctoral research is based upon and develops further from her PhD research, supervised by Professor Tim Ingold and Dr Andrew Whitehouse. In her thesis (2015) she investigates the complex relationships involved in the hunting with birds of prey, based on fieldwork in Britain, Germany and Italy. The thesis challenges an anthropocentric mode of anthropological inquiry as it demands to open the traditional focus of anthropology to consider meaning making, sociality and knowledge production beyond the human sphere. She also investigates how the bodily attunement to birds, be it falcons, hawks or eagles, shapes the human practitioners' experience of a world in movement, through drawing their attention to the affective forces of the weather and the shifting topography of air. Her PhD research was awarded the RAI Sutasoma Award for the potentially outstanding contribution to the discipline of anthropology. Other funding bodies included: The International Rotary Foundation; Falconry Heritage Trust; Deutscher Falkenorden; Principle’s Excellence Fund, University of Aberdeen.
2018. (edited with Susanne B. Schmitt). Exploring Atmospheres Ethnographically. London: Routledge.
2018. Breeding with Birds of Prey: Intimate Encounters, In H. Swanson, M. Lien, G. Wen and (eds.), Domestication Gone Wild: Politics and Practices of Multispecies Relations. Duke University Press
2018. (with Susanne B. Schmitt) Introduction: Thinking Through Atmospheres. In Schroer, S.A. and S. Schmitt (eds.), Exploring Atmospheres Ethnographically. London: Routledge
2018. “A feeling for birds” – tuning into more-than-human atmospheres. In Schroer, S. A. and S. Schmitt (eds.), Exploring Atmospheres Ethnographically. London: Routledge
2017. (with David Anderson, Peter Loovers and Rob Wishart). ‘Architectures of Domestication: On Emplacing Human-Animal Relations in the North’, Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute 23 (2): 398-416.
2016. Multi-species ethnography in the study of falconry practice, In K. Gersmann, O. Grimm and U. Schmoelke (eds.), Premodern falconry and bird symbolism – interdisciplinary and practical considerations: the global perspectives in relation to Northern Europe. Druckhaus Koehten
2016 (with Aina Azevedo) ‘Weathering – A Graphic Essay’, Vibrant: Virtual Brazilian Anthropology 13 (2): 177-194.
2016. (with David Anderson, Peter Loovers and Rob Wishart). Prostranstvennye arkhitektury v otnosheni͡iakh mezhdu l͡iud'mi, zhivotnym mirom i landshaftom nasevere. in DS Tupakhin & N Fedorova (eds), Arkheologi͡ia Arktiki. vol. 3, ROSDOAFK, Kalingrad, pp. 5-24. (In Russian)
Unpublished Research Monographs
Living with Birds of Prey: A Study of Falconry Practice in Britain. (Manuscript in preparation)
2015. 'On the Wing': Exploring Human-Bird Relationships in Falconry Practice. PhD thesis, Department of Anthropology, University of Aberdeen.
Sara A. Schroer is the founder and convenor of the newly established EASA Network 'Humans and Other Living Beings', co-convened with Dr Ursula Muenster (LMU Munich/Rachel Carlson Centre) and Dr Charlotte Marchina (INALCO, Paris).
In case you are interested in becoming a member and in joining the mailing list of the network please get in touch with her by email (firstname.lastname@example.org).