Ghost stories:
Investigative animal geographies for multispecies justice

in A Research Agenda for Animal Geographies
Elgar Research Agendas
Edited by Alice Hovorka, Sandra McCubbin and Lauren Van Patter
Published: 22 June 2021
  • Exploring the innovative and thriving field of animal geographies, this Research Agenda analyses how humans think about, place, and engage with animals. Chapters explore how animals shape human identities and social dynamics, as well as how broader processes influence the circumstances and experiences of animals.

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Jacquelyn Johnston
Department of Global and Sociocultural Studies,
Florida International University, Miami, FL, USA
Correspondence: jjohn237@fiu.edu
https://orcid.org/0000-0002-2915-6725 
@WhoIsFeral​
For more information, please email me
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ABSTRACT

This chapter explores the use of government agency data to story animal experiences and suggests a series of critical investigative practices that animal geographers may employ to unearth and confront injustice through their research. The abstraction of animals under government agency custody and control is brought into conversation with legal and carceral geographies to explore the practice of critical triangulation. By modeling an investigative animal geography, this case unpacks the techniques through which animal data are produced, offers a critical analysis of data acquired through public records requests, and makes visible the vulnerabilities of animals living under the control of government agencies. Animal geographers are encouraged to embrace the roles of both researcher and activist, and to take risks by intervening through research to disrupt systems that reproduce and affirm systemic injustice against animals.

KEYWORDS: Investigative animal geography, triangulation, multispecies ethnographies, activist research, captivity, animal shelters