Post-humanist investigation into human-equine relations in event landscapes: Case of the Rodeo
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Danby, P. & Finkel, R. (2019) Post-humanist investigation into human–equine relations in event landscapes: Case of the Rodeo. In: Finkel, R., Sharp, B. & Sweeney, M. (eds.) Accessibility, Inclusion, and Diversity in Critical Event Studies. Oxford: Routledge, pp. 193-205.
Due to the increases in human leisure time, education, and affluence, animals are now incorporated into a range of recreational activities, which encourage and enable intra-active multi-species encounters in experiential environments. Framed in post-humanist theory, this chapter seeks to challenge the singular focus around human subjects, blurring boundaries between the human and nonhuman, looking beyond human agency and exploring the ‘more-than-human’ within the human-equine sporting event relationship. Focusing on a qualitative case study of the Austin Rodeo in Texas, USA, it is evident from this research how the boundaries and significant differences between humans and horses are challenged by the fluidity and interconnectedness of both species in rodeo performance spaces through increased knowledge, skill, and companionship. This has implications for the leisure, tourism, and events fields by repositioning animals as partners in the co-creation of cultural experiences.