Bio-Geo-Graphy: Landscape, Dwelling, and the Political Ecology of Human-Elephant Relations

29 Jan 2020

The relation between the bio and the geo has been amongst geography's most enduring concerns. This paper contributes to ongoing attempts in human geography to politicise the dynamics and distribution of life. Drawing upon postcolonial environmental history, animal ecology, and more-than-human geography, the paper examines how humans and elephants cohabit with and against the grain of cartographic design. Through fieldwork in northeast India, it develops a ‘dwelt political ecology’ that reanimates landscape as a dwelt achievement whilst remaining sensitive to postcolonial histories and subaltern concerns. The paper conceptualises and deploys a methodology of ‘tracking’ through which archival material, elephant ecology, and voices of the marginalised can be integrated and mapped. It concludes by discussing the implications of this work for fostering new conversations between more-than-human geography and subaltern political ecology.