Fiona Potter

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Personal profile

Overview

I'm a Scottish and German trainee social anthropologist with a background in the humanities, professional experience in admin, teaching, translation and audio publishing, and an unquenchable passion for all things multispecies.

If there's a non-human involved, say no more, you already have all of my attention.

Qualifications

MA Anthropological Research (Manchester 2019-2020)

MSc Social Anthropology (Edinburgh 2016-2017)

BA German & Linguistics (Oxford 2011-2015)

Research interests

Translating Multispecies Relationships in Central Norway

Supervised by Petra Tjitske Kalshoven and Jolynna Sinanan

At present, my research interest is in how two multispecies relationships (human-reindeer and human-cattle) are translated from specific to general in the context of two tourist contexts (museum archaeology and farm tourism).

How do humans who make and convey knowledge to others about non-humans experience those multispecies relationships themselves? What choices do they make as they translate those relationships to a tourist public, and why? Put simply, I am asking what archaeologists and farmers think about reindeer and cows as they relate to them in various and different ways; what they want tourists to walk away from the museum/farm thinking about reindeer/cows; and how they try to get them to think that way.

These questions matter greatly in a world where industrial agriculture seems to be the source of many of our greatest collective woes. I am invested in discovering how people that don't regularly interact with the non-humans that provide them with food or spend much time thinking deeply about multispecies relationships and supply chains are invited to think about alternative models of multispecies subsistence.

To answer my research questions, I will be doing 12 months of fieldwork in rural central Norway, working with archaeologists at a Saami museum and cultural centre who investigate prehistoric human-reindeer relationships and with farmers practicing a traditional kind of transhumance agriculture with dairy cattle. 

Kazakh Placemaking in the Altai: Tourism in a Mongolian National Park

Supervised by Madeleine Reeves and William Wheeler

Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, I had been planning to carry out my PhD research on a similar but different topic pertaining to multispecies (equine) tourism in western Mongolia. This project, which I hope to return to one day, focuses not only on relationships between humans and non-humans but also on how senses of place are created and communicated through sentimental songs about horses and other non-humans.

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 2 - Zero Hunger
  • SDG 15 - Life on Land

Areas of expertise

  • GN Anthropology

Keywords

  • multispecies ethnography
  • anthropology of tourism
  • archaeology
  • farming
  • reindeer
  • cattle
  • Norway
  • anthropology of place
  • rural
  • Mongolia
  • horses
  • pastoralism
  • agriculture
  • environment
  • national parks

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