Mr ALEXANDER OEHLER

Mr ALEXANDER OEHLER

Research PG

Overview
Mr ALEXANDER OEHLER
Mr ALEXANDER OEHLER

Contact Details

Email
Address
The University of Aberdeen Department of Anthropology, University of Northern British Columbia, 3333 University Way
Prince George, BC, Canada, V2N 4Z9.
Web Links

Current project affiliation: www.arcticdomus.org Past project: www.inuvialuktun.wordpress.com

Research

Research Interests

ideological disjuncture, human-animal relations, domestication, decolonization, indigenous theologies, ontological resistance, linguistic anthropology, identity

Current Research

My current research is located in the Saian Mountains of South Siberia. Located on the border to Mongolia, this region is known in anthropological literature as one of the earliest sites for reindeer domestication in Eurasia, and as a place often claimed to be the ‘original homeland’ of Siberian shamanism. This 3-year project (2012-2015) seeks to combine both themes—domestication and cosmology—by focusing on local human beliefs and practices relating to hunting and herding activities over the past 200 years. Drawing on archival and ethnographic data, the aim is to develop an account that shows how changing human ideas feature in the making and unmaking of human-animal interdependencies, while looking at the extent to which certain beliefs regarding animals are now being applied to new species. Transcending rigid notions of ‘wild’ and ‘tame’, this research engages a recent theoretical concern with the fluctuating distance between human and non-human animals that characterizes domestication, while challenging models of domination and unidirectional human benefit. By inductively working with empirical data obtained through observation and participation in the activities of local Soiot, Tozhu, and Tofalar hunters, herders, and fishermen, the project covers the full spectrum of proximity between humans and species as diverse as horses, yaks, reindeer and fish. Working with the anthropological literatures of human-animal relations, indigenous ontology, and colonialism, I seek to develop a renewed way of looking at the relationship between domestication and cosmology across a changing political landscape.

Collaborations

I am a member of Arctic Domus, a multi-year project which "investigates how people and animals today, and in the past, build sustainable communities around the circumpolar Arctic."

Research Grants

2012 Angus Pelham Burn Fellowship for northern anthropological fieldwork

2012 3-year Scholarship, Northern Colonialism, The North Program, Univ. of Aberdeen

2011 Nasivvik Centre for Inuit Health and Changing Environments

2010-2011 2-year Postgraduate research award, Univ. of Northern BC

2010 SSHRC, Research award via Aid to Small Universities

Teaching

Teaching Responsibilities

In 2016-17 I am instructing at the University of Northern British Columbia:

Autumn term:

ANTH102 – Anthropology: A World of Discovery
ANTH303 – Archives, Texts, Museums, and Contemporary Communities
ANTH305 – Anthropological Theory

Winter term:

ANTH211 – Anthropology Through Film

ANTH298 – Topics in Anthropology
ANTH000 – Introduction to Indigenous Studies

Further Info

External Responsibilities

Occasional Teaching Assistent, University of the Arctic (2012/13, 2016)

Sessional Instructor, College of New Caledonia (winter term 2016)

Sessional Instructor, University of Northern British Columbia (autumn, winter 2016/17)

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