Multispecies leisure: Human-animal interactions in leisure landscapes
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Danby, P., Dashper, K. & Finkel, R. (2019) Multispecies leisure: Human-animal interactions in leisure landscapes. Leisure Studies, 38 (3), pp. 291-302.
The emerging multidisciplinary field of human-animal studies encourages researchers to move beyond human-centric practices and to recognise that human and nonhuman beings are positioned within shared ecological, social, cultural and political spaces whereby nonhumans have become key actors worthy of moral consideration and play a fundamental role in humans’ lives. With some exceptions (e.g. Carr, 2014; Dashper, 2018; Danby, 2018; Danby & Finkel, 2018; Young & Carr, 2018), leisure studies has been slow to embrace this ‘animal turn’ and consider how leisure actions, experiences and landscapes are shaped through multispecies encounters between humans, other animals, reptiles, fish and the natural environment. This special issue begins to address this gap by considering leisure as more-than-human experiences. We consider leisure with nonhuman others, both domestic and wild, by exploring the ‘contact zones’ between humans and other species and, in doing so, we create an interspecies lens through which to explore these encounters. The research presented in this special issue takes into consideration the affective and ethical dimensions of human-nonhuman animal entanglements in leisure spaces and the need to strive for reciprocal, mutual welfare and wellbeing. Through the use of innovative methodological approaches, the authors explore a range of issues and perspectives to capture shared experiences of interspecies leisure pursuits. This special issue provides direction for future ways in which research on multispecies leisure, and its associated mutual benefits, can be done to advance understanding and practice in the field. The special issue seeks to ‘bring the animal in’ to the leisure studies domain and contribute to greater understanding of leisure as a complex, interwoven multispecies phenomenon.