We follow one overarching general aim, to develop a new interdisciplinary theory of the wild in the science of human-animal relations, using perspectivism and fluid realities as connecting concepts. In doing so, we shall challenge static categorisations in each separate discipline of what is considered a wild, domestic or hybrid animal. This general aim will be achieved by focusing on the following questions and tasks:
- Ask what is the range of actors whose opinions and experience are relevant, and what cosmologies and criteria do various stakeholders (hunters, herders, conservationists, biologists, government authorities) use to differentiate between wild and domestic, or the hybrid and feral animals that defy clear classification and challenge those pre-defined categories? What kind of relationships do these various practitioners and scientists build with animals, and in which situation does which perspective prevail? We approach these questions through targeted research in the north of Finland and Russia, where animals are particularly fundamental and tightly integrated into human life.
- Approach the research question through co-production approaches, thereby integrating insights from local spiritual and animal management practices into legal regimes and other, more official systems, whether religious or scientific, that tend to separate the domains of the animal and the human. How are different perspectives on wild and domestic animals, and their accompanying fluid realities, translated into representations in narratives, legal regimes, and gene expressions?