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Department of Social Anthropology


Onon Prize lecture with Professor Manduhai Buyandelger (Massachusetts Institute of Technology)

Crisis in Animal Rescue: Rethinking Urbanization in a Multispecies World

All animals are sentient beings, Mongolian Buddhism teaches, and humans are believed to have been dogs in their past lives. Yet the unregulated breeding, animal cruelty, and homelessness of dogs and cats in Mongolia defy this belief. This paper centers the crisis in sheltering animals as the key feature of modern urban life. The explosion in construction of new dwellings for humans in Ulaanbaatar contrasts with the lack of habitat for other living beings. Through the work of young animal rescuers and advocates, the paper explores urbanization in terms of new understandings of sociality, morality, and uhamsar (conscience) in addition to the transforming space and infrastructure. It also imagines, through the “eyes” and experiences of animals, what urbanization entails beyond human-centered modernity in the work.


Please contact should you wish to attend by Zoom.

Monday, 2 October, 2023 - 16:30 to 18:00
Event location: 
Richard Eden Suite, Clare Hall