Piers Locke
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  • Christchurch
  • New Zealand
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Piers Locke
School/Organization/Current anthropological attachment
University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand
Dr Piers Locke is a social anthropologist at The University of Wales, Lampeter, specialising in human-animal relations (anthrozoology), occupational communities, apprenticeship learning, and the anthropology of South Asia. His primary field research comprises the first ever ethnographic study of captive elephant management.

He has recently given a paper at the meeting of the Association of Asian Studies (AAS) meeting in Chicago and co-convened a panel at the Association of Social Anthropologists (ASA) meeting in Bristol, where he also gave a paper and presented his film 'Servants of Ganesh: Inside The Elephant Stable'. He is writing a book titled 'Servants of Ganesh: Elephant Handlers in Nepal'. His forthcoming articles are on topics including: practice, enclavement and identity; commitment and personhood; the history of the elephant stable and the Nepali state; elephant training as a rite of initiation for elephant and trainer; and the elephant in relation to understandings of domestication.

In collaboration with Professor David Zeitlyn, he is also currently conducting a research project on anthropologists' careers, the history of anthropology at Kent, and the effects of the audit culture.

He is also developing further projects in Nepal on knowledge and the politics of expertise, and a life-history study of a senior elephant handler.

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Comment Wall (9 comments)

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At 9:18pm on November 8, 2010, Michael Francis said…
Hi Piers - I would be happy to share soem sources with you. Here are some great sources on the Bushmen and all should be available via Jstor or other data-base.

Gordon, R.J., 1992. The Making of the "Bushmen". Anthropologica, 34(2), 183-202.
Robins, S., 2001. NGOs, 'Bushmen' and Double Vision: The ≠ Khomani San Land Claim and the Cultural Politics of 'Community' and 'Development' in the Kalahari. Journal of Southern African Studies, 27(4), 833-853.
Sylvain, R., 2002. "Land, Water, and Truth": San Identity and Global Indigenism. American Anthropologist, 104(4), 1074-1085.
Sylvain, R., 2005. Disorderly Development: Globalization and the Idea of "Culture" in the Kalahari. American Ethnologist, 32(3), 354-370.

And a shameless plug:

Francis, Michael and Suzanne Francis. 2010 'Representation and misrepresentation: San regional advocacy and the global imagery'. Critical Arts 24(2): 40-57.

Francis, Michael (2009) ‘Silencing the past: Historical and archaeological colonisation of the Southern San KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa’. Anthropology Southern Africa Vol 32 (3 & 4).

In other news:
I am fascinated by human animal interaction in part from my farming background but also in the Kalahari they make use of these wonderful hunting dogs to corner antelope as the group I work with does not use poison to hunt as others do. I loved the dogs so much I brought one back from South Africa. I look forward to checking out your film.
At 3:12am on November 8, 2010, John McCreery said…
Delighted to accept your invitation. Nice reply to Layla. I do wish there were someway to communicate the message that we understand the critique and empathize with the anger behind it; but it's time to move one to think concretely about how to improve the situation.
At 11:11pm on August 17, 2010, Kieron Lyndsay Doak said…
Interview part one on this site. Purity and Danger. So, qualia + symbolism = the emergence of categories?
At 7:04am on August 17, 2010, Kieron Lyndsay Doak said…
Thanks for the heads up on Douglas. Have just watched interview one. She critiques her book, especially Leviticus and makes the comment, "Social life makes the categories", but unfortunately she does not expand on this. Would you have an opinion on this most interesting statement?
At 12:53pm on October 5, 2009, Michael Yorke said…
Dear Piers,
Given your pedigree we must have met many times. It is just that my brain clearly never clocked it. I was at the RAI Fest in Kent. At the moment I am teaching a module in Practical EWthnographic Filmmaking at UCL Anthro Dept.
Great to hear that you know dear Denis Whyte - an old mate, who produced a number of filmns that I directed.
I wouldlike to attach a file of the catalogue of films that I can send you. I can't do it on this system, so email me at mike@upsidefilms.co.uk
Best wishes, Mike Yorke
At 12:09am on October 5, 2009, Michael Yorke said…
Piers, I haver made a number of films on the theme you mention. Best you email; me at m.yorke@ucl.ac.uk or at mike@upsidefilms.co.uk Then I can send you the catralogue of films that I have made and are available. I suugest that you do this as soon as possible since I am off to teach filmmaking workshops in Burkino Faso and Romania from Wednesday for four weeks. Great to hear of your interest in y work. Where did you hear about my documentaries? I am deaqd curious.. Best wsishes, Mike Yorke
At 1:49am on September 30, 2009, Francine Barone said…
I completely share your opinion regarding the unfortunate disputes over names and intentions that have taken place here. Surprisingly, the discord largely stems from a very small number of sources, but it is casting a shadow over much of what the OAC has accomplished so far in bringing anthropologists together with a common aim of sharing and collaboration. Out of our nearly 2000 members, most of us would prefer to get back to what we all came here for (an open discussion of all aspects of anthropology). I find myself spending more time coordinating efforts, moderating language and behavior, and trying to hack the functionality of Ning to more adequately suit our needs than truly digging in and sharing material of substance. Hopefully this will change soon, since the OAC is still relatively young. As you say, perhaps all of the above is of interest as a case study of virtual communications, new media and anthropology.

I'm pleased to hear that you have quickly found it fruitful and share my optimism about what's been started here. I sincerely hope that the other members will also choose to persevere with the site despite a few bumpy elements in its beginnings. It was, and remains, a grassroots effort with lots of potential. After all, can anyone realistically expect a room full of anthropologists to agree, let alone nearly 2000 of them?

I'm familiar with Moodle, but haven't used it for teaching until this year, because Kent has only embraced it since I've been in the field. I definitely see the potential for the OAC to complement Moodle and other virtual tools for learning and teaching, especially at a distance. I'm putting together a course wiki for one of the seminars I'm teaching, mostly on a trial and error basis. I'm also considering working in some exercises with the OAC, perhaps as a task for students to find new material that they wouldn't otherwise encounter in the library, plus the chance to connect with other teachers and students from outside the department. Such a large group of community-minded anthropologists is a great resource.
At 1:29am on September 26, 2009, Francine Barone said…
Hi, Piers. Great to see you here. I didn't know that you and David were working on a departmental history of Kent. I'd be interested in hearing more about that when you find the time to transcribe and analyze all your interviews (not least of all because of my own history at Kent). The OAC is undoubtedly a perfect forum to share that kind of material, since this is a sort of reflexive project in its own right.

Anyway, welcome!

At 6:02pm on September 19, 2009, Michael Heneise said…
Piers, thanks for introducing me to these forums, I know it will be great fun as well as helpful!


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