22. 2. 2023

Hedging bets in more-than-human worlds: Joint futures of veterinary and conservation interventions

Panel at An Unwell World? Anthropology in a Speculative Mode ASA conference, April 11-14, SOAS – London, United Kingdom

Sessions: Thursday 13 April, , Thursday 13 April,
Time zone: BST (local time)  


As more-than-human regimes of value and governance, veterinary and conservation interventions overlap and intersect in numerous ways. For example, veterinary care is often key to conservation projects, such as endangered species monitoring programmes and rehabilitation centres that aim to ‘return’ rescued animals to ‘the wild’. Veterinary authority and logics also legitimate biosecurity measures that seek to protect ‘native’ flora and fauna from ‘invasive’ species. Both fields, moreover, are constitutively structured around anticipatory devices, such as pre-emptive biosecurity restrictions, programmes for vaccinations, euthanasia or reproduction, and predictions of likely population trends. We invite panellists to ask how the future in conservation and/or veterinary medicine serves as a ‘guiding trope in the present’ (Nielsen 2014), and on what temporal scales it is located, or indeed evacuated (Guyer 2010). We seek contributions that empirically/ethnographically flesh out how the two fields (separately or jointly) build their capacity to imagine, foresee, speculate, and predict, so as to intervene, act upon, enact, precipitate or prevent different versions of the future. Specifically, we encourage curiosity about the structural, political, imaginative and other means through which the two fields build authority and hedge their bets on various futures—particularly in situations where there is a significant risk of failure or being proved wrong.





Else Vogel

Else Vogel is an assistant professor of anthropology at the University of Amsterdam whose work focuses on values in (human and animal) health care practices, advancing theories of valuation, care and biopolitics. Her current research explores how different human-animal relations are navigated in practice by those involved in food production, focusing on the work of veterinarians in pig and dairy farming.

Online: Else Vogel (@ElseVogel)/Twitter and website (






Emmanuelle Roth

Emmanuelle Roth is an anthropologist and a postdoctoral research fellow in the ERC project “Fragments of the Forest: Hot Zones, Disease Ecologies, and the Changing Landscape of Environment and Health in West Africa” at the Rachel Carson Center in Munich. She is interested in how people understand, make meaning of and relate epidemics, environmental changes, and human-animal interactions. Her current research examines shifts in comprehending, caring for, and valuing bats, primates, and other wild species in the mining area and biodiversity-rich landscape of Mount Nimba, a mountain range that spans the borders of Guinea, Liberia, and Côte d’Ivoire. Emmanuelle also holds a master’s degree in humanitarian action and has been actively involved as a social scientist in outbreaks of Ebola in West Africa.

Online: Emmanuelle Roth (@RothEmmanuelle) /Twitter and Fragments of the forest (ERC Project) 





Laure Disson

Laure Disson is an MA student in Social Anthropology and Environmental Humanities at the University of Oslo. Her research interests include multispecies ethnography, rewilding, and creative environmental writing. Her master’s thesis explores the relations between rewilding practitioners and reintroduced green-winged macaws in Northern Argentina, and the conceptualizations of the “wild” mobilized in rewilding practice. This talk examines how the future-oriented project of rewilding macaws translates into embodied multispecies relations in the present. 










Monica Vasile

Monica’s current research examines the history of reintroductions of endangered species. She researches three case-studies – Przewalski’s horses, Vancouver Island marmots and the takahe rails of New Zealand – exploring the actual practices of conservation management and the production of science aimed at ‘rescuing’ species. Monica is currently a PhD scholar in environmental history, part of the group ‘Moving Animals’ at Maastricht University. Her talk focuses on the history of recovering the Przewalski’s horse from extinction in the wild and shows how different repertoires of conservation practice can produce multiple becomings of a species. 

Online: Monica Vasile  (researcher profile) and Twitter






Frida Hastrup

Frida Hastrup is an associate professor in ethnology at the Centre for Sustainable Futures at the Saxo Institute, University of Copenhagen. Her work focuses on animal production in Denmark, looking into ongoing attempts at making the huge Danish livestock sector more sustainable. In particular, she focuses on the ways that knowledge about the climate and environmental impact of animal production is generated, transferred, ignored, codified, calculated and debated.

Online: Centre webpage and Project webpage






Bernardo Couto Soares 

Bernardo Couto Soares is a medical anthropologist and veterinarian currently finishing a sociology master at the University of Amsterdam. His research interests focus on human-animal relations and veterinary practices. In his panel’s presentation, he will draw on ethnographic fieldwork in a Dutch animal shelter to reflect on how desired futures of adoption influences shelter staff’s ways of reasoning and acting during the cat rehoming process.

Online:  Bernardo Couto Soares | and Bernardo Couto Soares | LinkedIN






Liana Chua 

Liana Chua is a social anthropologist based at the University of Cambridge. She has worked on ethnic politics, Christianity, indigeneity, environmental transformations and displacement in Malaysian Borneo since 2003, and currently leads a European Research Council project on the global nexus of orangutan conservation in the Anthropocene.

Online: Global lives of the orangutan and Twitter






Luděk Brož

Luděk Brož is a social anthropologist based at the Institute of Ethnology, Czech Academy of Sciences where he heads the Department of Ecological Anthropology and a principal investigator of the ERC funded BOAR project. For years Luděk conducted ethnographic work in Siberia on number of issues such as hunting, local perception of archaeological work, mobility or suicide. Within the BOAR project he focuses on interface of veterinary expertise and hunting practices in the Czech Republic in the context of ongoing African Swine Fever outbreak.

Online: and Twitter