Many people feel strong bonds with nonhuman animals, and these relationships are central to much emerging scholarship in human-animal studies. Yet to study relationships is not straightforward; research often focusses on how humans affect animals or vice versa rather than on the relationships themselves. Partly, this is a consequence of the history of disciplinary divisions, particularly between natural and social sciences. In Crossing Boundaries, contributors from a wide range of disciplinary backgrounds reflect on the methodological challenges they face, and how they go about studying relationships between people and animals. Crossing Boundaries provides fascinating insights into how research on human-animal relationships can rise to the challenges of interdisciplinarity, and help us to understand the animals with whom we bond.
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Lynda Birke, is Visiting Professor, Anthrozoology, University of Chester. She was trained in biology (animal behaviour), but has also done interdisciplinary work, especially in human-animal studies. Her most recent book (co-authored) is The Sacrifice: How scientific experiments transform animals and people (Purdue University Press, 2007).
Jo Hockenhull, Ph.D. (2010) in Equine Welfare, University of Liverpool, is a research assistant in the Animal Welfare and Behaviour Group at the University of Bristol School of Veterinary Sciences.