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Photo of Dr Julien Dugnoille

Dr Julien Dugnoille

Senior Lecturer (Anthropology)

Byrne House Tower Room

OFFICE HOURS: On research leave (term 2 2019-20)

OFFICE: Byrne House, 1st Floor

I am an Anthropologist whose work focuses on the study of human-animal relations in South Korea, France and England. My research interests are influenced by my previous studies in Philosophy and Visual Anthropology and include the ethics of animal commodification, discourses about ethnicity and nationalism pertaining to nonhuman animals, and scientific discourse and practice about animal sexuality. For my doctoral degree at the University of Oxford entitled The Seoul of Cats and Dogs, I conducted extended fieldwork amidst South Korea's cat and dog meat trade and Seoul's emerging animal welfare community.

I am a proud vegan and animal advocate and I focus particularly on the commodification of species like cats, dogs (and recently horses) as a way to raise public awareness to the normalisation of how less humanised species (cattle, sheep, pigs, chickens, etc.) are commodified.


*Many more are forthcoming*



  • Harvard Animal Law and Policy Program Visiting Fellow (on hold cf. Covid-19)
  • Co-investigator, Exeter Anthrozoology and Symbiotic Ethics (EASE) (withdrawn)
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellowship, Musée du quai Branly (declined)
  • Bronze Award, Above and Beyond recognition scheme (Excellence in teaching) University of Exeter
  • Korea Foundation PhD Fellowship, University of Oxford (research only)
  • Fulbright IIE Fellowship, The University of Chicago (research only)
  • Research Grants Academy of Korean Studies (research only)
  • Junior Scholar Paper Prize 6th World Congress of Korean Studies
  • School of Anthropology & Museum Ethnography 3-year PhD Scholarship, University of Oxford
  • Philip Bagby Fund Award for Fieldwork in Korea Oxon
  • School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) Korean Language Course Funding
  • Oxford University Alumni Society Award for Volunteering Work in India, University of Oxford
  • Bourse au mérite (Academic Merit Scholarship) in Philosophy Sorbonne
  • Erasmus - LLP Scholarship
  • Mention Très bien (Top of Class for 4 years in a row) for Maîtrise (BA Hons) in Philosophy Sorbonne


Research group links

Research interests



This long-term research explores (since 2012) how South Koreans engage with ideologies about zootherapy, pure blood and ethnicity beyond the human world when justifying the use of nonhuman animals as curative commodities. I also explored South Korean civil discourses which emphasise a clear pet vs. food boundary with an ethnographic approach to the dog-meat trade which reveals that this taxonomy doesn’t represent how dogs are commoditised in practice. I have also shown how digital photography of human–animal relations empowers South Koreans with the capability to express their own views on tradition, social change and cultural stereotypes. Moreover, I have explored how animal activists deploy rescue narratives so as to attract adopting families, thus transforming people's perception of livestock animals into that of potential lifetime companions


Book and journal articles related to this research: 


Dugnoille, J. Itinerant Animals: Cultural biographies of cats and dogs in contemporary South Korean society (forthcoming monograph)


Dugnoille, J. 2019. ‘I heard a dog cry’: More-than-human interrelatedness, ethnicity and zootherapy in South Korean civil society discourse about dog meat consumption Ethnography, 20(1): 68-87. DOI: 10.1177/1466138117735540 


Dugnoille, J. 2018. To eat or not to eat cats and dogs: South Korean Animal taxonomies. Food, Culture and Society, 21(2). DOI: 10.1080/15528014.2018.1429075


Dugnoille, J. 2016. Digitalizing the Korean cosmos: representing human–nonhuman continuity and filiality through digital photography in contemporary South Korea. Visual Studies, 31(4): 324-334. DOI: 10.1080/1472586X.2016.1246067


Dugnoille, J. 2014. From plate to pet: Promotion of trans-species companionship by Korean animal activists. Anthropology Today, 30(6): 3-7. DOI: 10.1111/1467-8322.12140




I am collaborating with French Anthropologist, Frédéric Keck on a research project entitled 'Regulating Wetmarkets in Central China: Ethnographic study of the perception of zoonotic risks after the COVID-19 crisis', funded by the Agence nationale de la recherche (ANP). I am supervising a researcher based in South Korea who is exploring the impact of the current pandemic on "wet markets" in some of the places I researched over the past ten years. This actualises the findings I have produced since 2012 on the consumption and production of dog and cat meat in South Korea. Our findings will be published in the near future. 




With this research, I investigated how travel images of North Korean destinations are produced in South Korean advertising organisations and are commoditised, and consumed, as South Korean cultural products. I focused on a particular mountain on the border between China and North Korea, ‘Paekdusan’., believed to be the mythological cradle of the Korean people. I shared my findings at the Academy of Korean Studies (AKS)’s bi-annual conference in 2012, where I won the Junior Paper Prize Award.




This research explores drama ethnographically on and off the stage. I focus on movement in a theatre production, in the sense of physical motion, the audience’s mobilisation process and the cast’s positionalities vis-à-vis the play’s symbolic reality.


Paper related to this research:


Dugnoille, J. 2018. How an image makes people move: Symbolic reality … on and off the stage of an Oxford Theatre Production. Visual Ethnography, 7(2). DOI: 10.12835/ve2018.1-0107




This research uses a Foucauldian perspective to analyse how animal behaviours, in spite of the progress made, are still represented in current scientific practice and academic discourse focusing on sexuality so as to fit within a normative “straightjacket”


Paper related to this research:


Dugnoille, J. “Straightjacket”: Heteronormativity preventing movement in ethological research about animal sexual activities and relationships (forthcoming journal article)




With this research, I apply the Satrian existentialist framework of ‘The Look’ to the experiences of human-nonhuman intersubjectivity, which were expressed to me by a handful of small-scale farmers in France and in England. I also explore human-animal interactions through the lens of contemporary debates about commodification so as to articulate the feelings of dissonance experienced by populations who thingify sentient beings


Paper related to this research:


Dugnoille, J. Pièce de resistance: Sartrian existentialism in small-scale farming (forthcoming journal article)

Research supervision

Research expertise: Human-Animal Interactions, Anthrozoology, Critical Animal Studies, Visual Anthropology, Commodification, Environmental and Food Politics, The politics of Space and Visibility, Animal Sexuality, Philosophy of Sciences, Aesthetics, Existentialism


Regional expertise: East Asia (especially Korea), France, the UK


I welcome enquiries from prospective MA, MPhil and PhD students. All of our students in Exeter are working on very exciting and important projects. I am always keen to develop projects with hard-working individuals looking to improve human and nonhuman welfare and/or contribute to the development of qualitative, research-based Anthropology and Anthozoology. Some of my students work (or have worked) on slaughterhouse visibility in the UK, Ireland and Denmark, the biopolitics of dog training in the UK, how zooarchaeology in Greece can inform current debates about human-nonhuman intersubjectivity, biographies of lions in French circuses, the phenomenology of disgust in a Londonian butchery, the inclusion of nonhuman animals in a concept of peace, neo-paganism, etc.

Research students

Eimear Mc Loughlin - Slaughterhouse culture: An ethnography of animal slaughter in Denmark - PhD Social Anthropology


The visibility of animal slaughter in Denmark contrasts starkly with the modes of concealment typical of slaughterhouses in industrialised societies. Members of the public can enter a pig slaughterhouse and participate in a tour of the facility, tracking the animal from the slaughterhouse gate to the dinner plate. Interestingly, Denmark boasts one of the highest meat consumption rates in the world. This transparency of animal slaughter transcends the slaughterhouse to other arenas of animal consumption. My ESRC-funded PhD will involve a 13-month ethnographic fieldwork wherein I will interrogate Danish cultural attitudes towards animals and explore how these are influenced by visibility of animal consumptive practices. In collaboration with Copenhagen Zoo, I will conduct participant observation as well as semi-structured interviews with staff. I will carry out a significant ethnographic study of a Danish slaughterhouse using a variety of sociological and anthropological research methods. In an effort to recreate the immersive experience of the slaughterhouse, I will utilise a background in visual anthropology in collaboration with two art galleries in the exhibition of my research material.


Mc Loughlin E. Knowing cows: Transformative mobilizations of human and nonhuman bodies in an emotionography of the slaughterhouse. Gender Work Organ. 2018;121.


Mc Loughlin,E. (2015) #SaveBenjy: Sexuality, Queer Animals and Ireland Humanimalia, 7(1), p.109-122


Sarah Thubron - Rethinking peace: examining the position of non-human animals and the significance of industrial animal farming in the UK - PhD Sociology


My research will examine the applicability of the ideas of peace and violence in industrial farming by analysing UK law, rhetoric and policy with regards to nonhuman animals as well as how the notion of violence is used and performed at the level of those actually involved in handling animals. The project will examine these ideas in the context of sheep farming within the UK, paying particular attention to the transition from farm to slaughterhouse and the process of live animal transport. The research will be conducted using an interdisciplinary approach, involving text and discourse analysis of relevant political and legal outputs as well as ethnographic fieldwork, to examine whether the definition and perceived occurrence of violence differs according to what status the animals are accorded at each stage of the production process. In highlighting why the treatment of nonhuman animals in intensive farming is relevant to how peace is striven for in the UK, the research will ultimately question whether current UK policy can truly be said to be peaceful.


Elizabeth Vander Meer - Troubling Boundaries? Tradition, biopower and individual wild animals in French circuses - PhD Anthrozoology


Circus tradition that includes a central role for animal performance persists in France and is afforded governmental support and promotion through the Ministry of Culture. However, traditional circuses in Europe that perform with wild animals are being challenged publicly and altered through the enactment of legal bans on use of these animals, reflecting increasing unease with wild animal performance in particular.  My PhD project involves multi-sited multispecies ethnographic research of current 21st century traditions of wild animal performance in circuses in France, to investigate circus discourse and the lives of animals caught within entertaining narratives. I will undertake fieldwork within three circuses that perform in and around Paris. I build on existing research that explores boundaries between humans and other animals in circuses to explore how traditions of wild animal performance in French circuses may trouble or blur boundaries between humans and other animals, and how it is possible to make “visible” the lived experiences of individual animals to understand more fully the bodily impact of these traditions. Ideas in biopower and phenomenology provide the theoretical frame for this research which is located at the crossroads of Anthrozoology, Ethnographic Anthropology and Applied Philosophy. The study produced will capture a rare analytical account of an oral and physical tradition, while also giving full consideration to animal experience, of benefit to scholars of performance but also to those considering the welfare of animals in circuses, with great potential to feed into policy discussions and decisions.


Vander Meer, E. (2019). Returning to Wild? Four lions' journey from circus to sanctuary. Humanimalia, 10:2: 180-202.


Vander Meer, E. (2017). Alligator Song, Society & Animals, , 1-20. doi:


Christina Terberl / Andrew Perry (profiles coming soon)


I am a Lecturer in Anthropology (Education and Research) here at Exeter and, when I do not focus on human-animal interactions, my areas of expertise are East Asia (Korea and Japan), Visual Anthropology and Philosophy. I trained under the likes of Isabelle Stengers, Patrice Loreau, Françoise Bonardel, Robert Deliège, Jean-Paul Colleyn, Marcus Banks, Jay Lewis, Roger Goodman and Inge Daniels.

I am originally from Belgium (Brussels). The question I always get is ‘Are you Flemish or Walloon?’- to which the answer is ‘neither!’ Belgium is divided into three administrative regions: Wallonia, Flanders and Brussels, and I am from the latter. My native language is French but, as a good Belgian, I also speak Flemish which I was taught between the age of 4 and 17. I moved to Paris to study for my BA in Philosophy at the Sorbonne, then decided I wanted to give Theatre a try and attended a Drama School while working on the side towards getting a ridiculously difficult title that only the French recognize: the ‘Agrégation de philosophie’. I was then a starving artist in Paris for a few years where I acted in a few theatre productions. I then went on with my academic career by attending the Ecole des hautes études en sciences sociales (EHESS), where I read for an MA in Ethnology. While doing this MA, I also worked full-time as a consultant for a French politican, after which I moved to Oxford to get an MSc in Visual Anthropology and then a DPhil (PhD) in Anthropology. During my last two years as a PhD, I gave tutorials in Anthropology to Undergraduates at St Hugh's, Wadham and New Colleges (these are all Oxford Colleges).

I was brought up in a family that greatly valued nonhuman animals. My grandfather had a farm in the Poitou region in France where I spent every summer of my childhood. I could not wait to go there each year, as it was such a joy to immerse myself in a daily routine where I was asked to take care of horses, sheep, ducks, peacocks, chickens, cats and dogs. I was told to look after the animals as kindly as I could. I was often reminded that some of them would have to be killed and eaten by us in the end. That awareness made me want to know more about the various perspectives one is asked to adopt regarding nonhuman animals and whether moving from one perspective to the next could really be seen as a moral transgression. This has, no doubt, shaped my desire to look at the cat and dog meat trade in Korea for my PhD, as did my fascination for East Asia as a child and teenager.  

In my free time, I appease my obsession for nineteenth-century European literature by reading and re-reading Emile Zola's work and other naturalist descriptions. I also love the work of Victor Hugo, Charles Mathurin and Gustave Flaubert to name but a few. Today, I live in Exeter's countryside with my human and nonhuman animals, including my partner, my cats Toshio and Kyattsu Ai, and my dog Idem.


  • 2018-present. Senior Lecturer in Anthropology (Education and Research), University of Exeter
  • 2015-2018. Lecturer in Anthropology (Education and Research), University of Exeter
  • 2015-16. Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Musée du quai Branly (declined)
  • May-Aug. 2015. Lecturer in Anthropology (Anthrozoology), Full-time cover for maternity Leave, University of Exeter


  • D.Phil. Anthropology University of Oxford
  • Fulbright Anthropology and History University of Chicago
  • M.Sc. Visual Anthropology University of Oxford
  • Master Ethnology Ecole des Hautes Etudes (EHESS)
  • Drama School Cours Florent (Full-time) & Guildhall and LAMDA (Summer training)
  • Licence & Maîtrise (BA Hons.) Philosophy Sorbonne 

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