Photo of Professor Samantha Hurn

Professor Samantha Hurn

Associate Professor (Anthropology)

North Cloisters  Club Alley

Office hours by appointment so please email me to arrange a mutually convenient time.

I am a social anthropologist, but my research falls under the umbrella category of anthrozoology or multi-species ethnography (in other words, how humans think about and engage with nonhuman or more-than-human animals in a range of cultural contexts). I have conducted ethnographic fieldwork in Southern Africa (Swaziland and South Africa - looking at rhino poaching, primate conservation and human-wildlife conflict) and Europe (especially Romania, looking at street dog welfare and management, and rural Andalusia, Spain and Wales, UK - focussing on domesticated animals, animals in agricultural production systems, the enrolment of animals in ritual contexts, human kinship with dogs and other companion species, and the ways in which sound impacts on staff, visitors and the morethanhuman residents at zoos). While anthrozoology is my real passion my research interests and expertise cover a wide range of thematic and theoretical areas of much broader and traditional anthropological focus and interest. These include environmental anthropology; ritual and sacrifice; development; globalisation; migration and diaspora; ethnicity and nationalism; kinship and gender; biopolitics and power; tourism; neo-colonialism; exchange and reciprocity; material culture; visual anthropology; crime, deviance and risk taking; medical anthropology; the occult; religious syncretism; spiritual landscapes, pilgrimage and monasticism; agrarian change and diversification; food production and consumption.

I am the Director of the Anthrozoology as Symbiotic Ethics (EASE) working group, Programme Director for the MA in Anthrozoology and PhD programme in Anthrozoology here at Exeter.

I am a Senior Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

For more information about current projects see the Exeter Anthrozoology as Symbiotic Ethics (EASE) website: http://socialsciences.exeter.ac.uk/ease

Publications: 

 

Hurn, S. 2019. Bois y cobs : The place of autochthonous horses in rural Welsh cultural identity in Guest, K. and Mattfield, M. (eds) Horse Breeds and Human Society: Purity, Identity and the Making of the Modern Horse. London: Routledge. To access accepted proof click here

 

Hurn, S. and Badman-King, A. (2019). ‘Care as an alternative to killing? Reconceptualising veterinary end of life care’ Medical Anthropology Quarterly[Special issue edited by Brown, H. and Nading, A.] To access accepted proof click here

 

Hurn, S. (2019). Exposing the harm in euthanasia: Ahimsa and an alternative view on animal welfare as expressed in the beliefs and practices of the Skanda Vale ashram, west Wales. In Linzey, A. and Linzey, C. (eds.) Handbook of Religionand Animal Ethics. London: Routledge.

 

Hurn, S. 2018. From the horse’s mouth. In: Bubandt, N. O. (ed.) A non-secular Anthropocene: Morethanhuman Working Papers. Denmark: Aarhus University. To access a copy click here

 

Hurn, S. et al. 2018. Exeter Anthrozoology as Symbiotic Ethics (EASE) working group's written evidence to the UK government's Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) commons select committee - pre-legislative scrutiny on the UK's Animal Welfare (Sentencing and Recognition of Sentience) Bill (draft dated 12 December 2017). Exeter, Devon, UK: University of Exeter. To see the submission click here

 

Hurn, S. 2017. ‘Multispecies ethnography’ Sage Research Methods Datasetshttp://methods.sagepub.com/datasets[live December 2017]

 

Hurn, S. 2017. Human-Animal Relations (HAR). Fuentes, A. (ed) The International Encyclopedia of Primatology. 1–7. DOI: 10.1002/9781119179313.wbprim0451

 

Hurn, S. 2016. Animals as producers, consumers and consumed: the complexities of trans-species sustenance in a multi-faith community. Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology. DOI 10.1080/00141844.2015.1107611

 

Hurn, S. (Ed.) 2016. Anthropology and Cryptozoology: Exploring Encounters with Mysterious Creatures. London: Routledge.

 

Hurn, S. 2016. Introduction. In Hurn, S. (Ed.) Anthropology and Cryptozoology: Exploring Encounters with Mysterious Creatures. London: Routledge.

 

Hurn, S. 2016. Land of beasts and dragons: Modern myth-making in rural Wales. In Hurn, S. (Ed.) Anthropology and Cryptozoology: Exploring Encounters with Mysterious Creatures. London: Routledge.

 

Hurn, S. 2016. ‘Gifts for the gods? The present and future of sacrifice’ in Murray, C. A. (Ed.) Diversity of Sacrifice: Form and Function of Sacrificial Practices in the Ancient World and Beyond. Institute for European and Mediterranean Archaeology Series. Albany: SUNY Press.

 

Hurn, S. 2015. Baboon Cosmopolitanism: More-Than-Human Moralities in a Multispecies Community. In Nagai, K., Jones, K., Landry, D., Mattfeld, M., Rooney, C., & Sleigh, C. (Eds.) Cosmopolitan Animals. Palgrave Macmillan.

 

Hurn, S. 2015. Anthrozoology: an important subfield in anthropology. In Hartung, G. & Herrgen, M. (Eds.). (2014). Interdisziplinäre Anthropologie: Jahrbuch 2/2014. Springer-Verlag, 179 - 188.

 

Hurn, S. 2013. Confessions of a Vegan Anthropologist. In A. Lavis, & E. J. Abbots (Eds.). Why we eat, how we eat: Contemporary encounters between foods and bodies. Ashgate Publishing.

 

Hurn, S. 2012. Humans and Other Animals: Human-Animal Interactions in Cross-Cultural Perspective. London: Pluto Press.

 

Hurn, S. 2011. ‘Like Herding Cats! Managing conflict over wildlife heritage on South Africa’s Cape Peninsula’ Journal of Ecological and Environmental Anthropology. 6 (1): 39 – 53.

 

Hurn, S. 2011. ‘Dressing down: Clothing animals, disguising animality’ Civilizations. 59 (2): 123 – 138.

 

Hurn, S. 2010. 'What's in a name? Anthrozoology, human-animal studies, animal studies or something else?' Anthropology Today. June 2010. Volume 26 (3): 27 – 28.

 

Hurn, S. 2009. ‘Here be dragons? No, big cats! Predator symbolism in rural West Wales’ Anthropology Today. Volume 25 (1): 6 – 11.

 

Hurn, S. 2008. ‘The ‘Cardinauts’ of the Western coast of Wales: Exchanging and exhibiting horses in the pursuit of fame’ Journal of Material Culture. Volume 13 (3): 335 – 355.

 

Hurn, S. 2008. ‘What’s Love Got to Do With It? The interplay between sex and gender in the commercial breeding of Welsh cobs’ Society & Animals. 16 (1): 23 – 44.

 

Awards:

 

Academic year 2018/19 Above and Beyond award for PhD supervision.

 

Academic year 2018/19 Exeter Student Guild Teaching Awards: Best Supervisor.

 

Academic year 2017/18 Exeter Student Guild Teaching Awards: Best Supervisor.

 

Academic year 2015/16 Gold award in Exeter’s ‘Above and Beyond’ scheme 

 

Academic year 2015/16 Multiple nominations for the Exeter Student Guild Teaching Awards: Best supervisor; Best lecturer.

 

Academic year 2014/15 Multiple nominations per category for the Exeter Student Guild Teaching Awards: Best supervisor; Innovative Teaching; Research Inspired Teaching; Best feedback provider; Most supportive member of staff; Best lecturer, and was shortlisted for Best supervisor.

 

Academic year 2014/15 Silver award in Exeter’s ‘Above and Beyond’ scheme 

 

Academic year 2013/14 Multiple nominations for the Exeter Student Guild Teaching Awards: Best lecturer; Innovative teaching.

 

Academic year 2013/14 Merit Award by the SSIS Dean at Exeter 

 

2013 recipient of the Higher Education Academy and Association of Social Anthropologists Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Anthropology.

 

Academic year 2012/13 Multiple nominations for the Exeter Student Guild Teaching Awards: Best Lecturer.

 

2012 recipient of the Higher Education Academy and Association of Social Anthropologists Award for Excellence in the Teaching of Anthropology.

 

2011 the documentary film of my research project ‘Riding the Trod’ commended as an important piece of Welsh cultural heritage and was added to the National Library of Wales digital

archive: https://vimeo.com/15655164

 

2010 Humane Society of the United States Distinguished Course Award for the MA in Anthrozoology. 2008 Journal of

 

Material Culture prize for best paper (Cardinauts of the Western Coast of Wales).

 

 

2003 recipient of the UCL Anthropology Department PhD studentship.

 

Research group links

Research interests

I am interested in the diverse ways in which humans interact with other animals. 

 

I am currently Principle Investigator on the following projects:

'Perceptions of rhino poaching' funded by National Geographic under their Making the Case for Nature call. The project is working with rhino guardians at reserves in South Africa, documenting the impacts of poaching events on survivors (humans and rhinos). We have produced a series of fims arising from the project which can be viewed here:

 

Bella’s Story: https://vimeo.com/340415708 (Password: Bella’s_Story)

 

Babies: https://vimeo.com/342061606 (Password: Babies)

 

'Tails from the Streets' involved an experimental methodological approach to anthropological research conducted by a team rather than an individual. Research was conducted in Romania in 2017 and on social media. The second phase involved a brief exploration of the status of dingoes in Queensland, Australia, as a comparative to Romanian street dogs. The third phase has been focussed on the international adoption of former Romanian street dogs. Two online surveys were set up to collect experiences of dog guardians (who were also asked to speak on behalf of their dogs) and dog care professionals (behaviourists, trainers, vets). The findings of the project are currently in preparation and will be published as an open access monograph later this year.

 

I am also Co-Investigator on the ESRC Transformative Social Science project ‘Listening to the Zoo’ (PI Tom Rice, and with Dr Alex Badman-King, Dr Paul Rose and Dr Adam Reed [St Andrews]). The project aims to transform the way we think about zoos by attending closely to an aspect of these institutions that has previously been neglected or overlooked: their sounds or 'soundscapes'. Through close collaboration with two project partner zoos in the UK, it sets out to explore how listening, and attending to different kinds and qualities of sound, can promote new forms of awareness of human and animal behaviour in the zoo context. The project aims to change the mode in which zoo visitors engage with species on display, prompting the development of an 'acoustic mindfulness' that complicates, challenges and augments a visually-orientated approach to animals in the zoo. The research is interdisciplinary, combining approaches from the social and natural sciences with the goal of producing a multi-species sonic ethnography of the zoo, something that has never been done before but which promises to allow social science to inform environmental awareness and citizenship in new ways.

 

Publications: 

 

Hurn, S. 2019. Bois y cobs : The place of autochthonous horses in rural Welsh cultural identity in Guest, K. and Mattfield, M. (eds) Horse Breeds and Human Society: Purity, Identity and the Making of the Modern Horse. London: Routledge. To access accepted proof click here

 

Hurn, S. and Badman-King, A. (2019). ‘Care as an alternative to killing? Reconceptualising veterinary end of life care’ Medical Anthropology Quarterly[Special issue edited by Brown, H. and Nading, A.] To access accepted proof click here

 

Hurn, S. (2019). Exposing the harm in euthanasia: Ahimsa and an alternative view on animal welfare as expressed in the beliefs and practices of the Skanda Vale ashram, west Wales. In Linzey, A. and Linzey, C. (eds.) Handbook of Religionand Animal Ethics. London: Routledge.

 

Hurn, S. 2018. From the horse’s mouth. In: Bubandt, N. O. (ed.) A non-secular Anthropocene: Morethanhuman Working Papers. Denmark: Aarhus University. To access a copy click here

 

Hurn, S. et al. 2018. Exeter Anthrozoology as Symbiotic Ethics (EASE) working group's written evidence to the UK government's Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) commons select committee - pre-legislative scrutiny on the UK's Animal Welfare (Sentencing and Recognition of Sentience) Bill (draft dated 12 December 2017). Exeter, Devon, UK: University of Exeter. To see the submission click here

 

Hurn, S. 2017. ‘Multispecies ethnography’ Sage Research Methods Datasetshttp://methods.sagepub.com/datasets[live December 2017]

 

Hurn, S. 2017. Human-Animal Relations (HAR). Fuentes, A. (ed) The International Encyclopedia of Primatology. 1–7. DOI: 10.1002/9781119179313.wbprim0451

 

Hurn, S. 2016. Animals as producers, consumers and consumed: the complexities of trans-species sustenance in a multi-faith community. Ethnos: Journal of Anthropology. DOI 10.1080/00141844.2015.1107611

 

Hurn, S. (Ed.) 2016. Anthropology and Cryptozoology: Exploring Encounters with Mysterious Creatures. London: Routledge.

 

Hurn, S. 2016. Introduction. In Hurn, S. (Ed.) Anthropology and Cryptozoology: Exploring Encounters with Mysterious Creatures. London: Routledge.

 

Hurn, S. 2016. Land of beasts and dragons: Modern myth-making in rural Wales. In Hurn, S. (Ed.) Anthropology and Cryptozoology: Exploring Encounters with Mysterious Creatures. London: Routledge.

 

Hurn, S. 2016. ‘Gifts for the gods? The present and future of sacrifice’ in Murray, C. A. (Ed.) Diversity of Sacrifice: Form and Function of Sacrificial Practices in the Ancient World and Beyond. Institute for European and Mediterranean Archaeology Series. Albany: SUNY Press.

 

Hurn, S. 2015. Baboon Cosmopolitanism: More-Than-Human Moralities in a Multispecies Community. In Nagai, K., Jones, K., Landry, D., Mattfeld, M., Rooney, C., & Sleigh, C. (Eds.) Cosmopolitan Animals. Palgrave Macmillan.

 

Hurn, S. 2015. Anthrozoology: an important subfield in anthropology. In Hartung, G. & Herrgen, M. (Eds.). (2014). Interdisziplinäre Anthropologie: Jahrbuch 2/2014. Springer-Verlag, 179 - 188.

 

Hurn, S. 2013. Confessions of a Vegan Anthropologist. In A. Lavis, & E. J. Abbots (Eds.). Why we eat, how we eat: Contemporary encounters between foods and bodies. Ashgate Publishing.

 

Hurn, S. 2012. Humans and Other Animals: Human-Animal Interactions in Cross-Cultural Perspective. London: Pluto Press.

 

Hurn, S. 2011. ‘Like Herding Cats! Managing conflict over wildlife heritage on South Africa’s Cape Peninsula’ Journal of Ecological and Environmental Anthropology. 6 (1): 39 – 53.

 

Hurn, S. 2011. ‘Dressing down: Clothing animals, disguising animality’ Civilizations. 59 (2): 123 – 138.

 

Hurn, S. 2010. 'What's in a name? Anthrozoology, human-animal studies, animal studies or something else?' Anthropology Today. June 2010. Volume 26 (3): 27 – 28.

 

Hurn, S. 2009. ‘Here be dragons? No, big cats! Predator symbolism in rural West Wales’ Anthropology Today. Volume 25 (1): 6 – 11.

 

Hurn, S. 2008. ‘The ‘Cardinauts’ of the Western coast of Wales: Exchanging and exhibiting horses in the pursuit of fame’ Journal of Material Culture. Volume 13 (3): 335 – 355.

 

Hurn, S. 2008. ‘What’s Love Got to Do With It? The interplay between sex and gender in the commercial breeding of Welsh cobs’ Society & Animals. 16 (1): 23 – 44.

 

 

 

Research supervision

I am interested in supervising any research which explores human relationships with other life forms, especially nonhuman animals, or which considers environmental change. I am also interested in experimental research methods and inter- or multi-disciplinary approaches, as well as research which has applied dimensions.

Research students

Current Graduate Research Students (as first supervisor):

 

Teresa Tyler, Anthrozoology (Abuse of hunting hounds in Cyprus), (PT).

Gill Howarth, Anthrozoology (Training pet cats), (PT).

Melani Nardone, Anthrozoology (GM mice to control Lyme disease), (PT).

Kerry Sands, Anthrozoology (Greyhound biographies), (PT).

Angi Millwood-Lacinak (Captive elephant welfare), (PT).

Michelle Szydlowski (Elephant and rhino welfare in Nepal), (PT).

Kriss Hill (Cat predation), (PT).

 

Completed Research Students:

 

Michelle Witham-Jones, Anthrozoology (Donkey Assisted Therapy), PhD December 2018.

Luci Attala, Anthropology (Multi-species water use and development in rural Kenya), PhD, January 2019.

Kate Marx, Anthrozoology (Tourist encounters with wild animals), PhD, October 2018.

Sharon Merz, Anthropology (Bebelibe totemism), April 2018.

Fenella Eason, Anthrozoology (Medical Detection Dogs), PhD, December 2017.

Jessica Groling, Sociology (Urban foxes and media representation), PhD, 2016. 

Laurence Hall, Film and Media (Use of digital media in conservation), MPhil, 2012. 

Stephen Gerard, Cultural Studies, PhD, 2012. Now Senior Lecturer at The Northern Film School.

Alexandra Onofrei, Anthropology (Romanian pig sacrifice), MA by Research ,2017 (Full-time).

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