Queen's University

Dr. Alice Hovorka

Professor, Department of Geography and Planning, School of Environmental Studies
SOCIAL SCIENCES, HUMAN GEOGRAPHY, FEMINISM, ANIMAL STUDIES
Twitter profile for Dr. Alice Hovorka

Autobiography

I obtained my Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Geography from Queen’s University in 1994 and my Master of Arts in Geography from Carleton University in 1997. Following graduation I consulted on urban issues for CIDA and worked as an IDRC intern mainstreaming gender into urban agriculture projects.  I received my PhD in Geography from Clark University in 2003, which focused on gender and urban agriculture in Botswana. I joined the University of Guelph Department of Geography in 2003 as Assistant Professor and was promoted to Full Professor in 2014.  In January 2015 I joined the Department of Geography and School of Environmental Studies at Queen’s University.

My research program broadly explores human-environment relationships and is theoretically informed by feminist, poststructuralist and posthumanist philosophical perspectives. I explore issues related to animal geographies, gender and environment, urban geography, and Southern Africa.

I currently explore how animals shape human society. We cannot understand human affairs and relations without recognizing the ways in which animals are wrapped up with social constructions, organizations and dynamics. How do we think about animals? Where do we put them and where do they belong? How do we interact with them? Are these human-animal relations good, bad, otherwise? What circumstances and experiences shape the lives of animals? Chickens, donkeys, cattle, wild dogs, elephants, and domestic dogs in Botswana serve as case studies exploring the positionality of animals as influential actors (funded by a SSHRC Insight Grant 2012-2016). More recently, I have embarked on projects investigating animal governance and the networks of actors, knowledges, structures, practices, and outcomes that shape human management of animals (funded by a SSHRC Insight Grant 2016-2021).

Most Recent Project

The Lives of Animals

Lives of Animals Logo The Lives of Animals Research Group at Queen's University (and University of Guelph until 2014) focuses on human-animal relations. We are interested in how humans think about, place and interact with animals, and how animals actively shape human lives, landscapes and development trajectories.

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Other Projects

  • Animal Geographies II: Hybridizing

    Progress in human GeographyHybridizing animal geographies scholarship encourages creative conversations among geography sub-disciplines and generates holistic knowledge of human-animal relations. This article surveys existing trends in ‘hybridity’ as a foundational concept emerging from animal geographies primarily located within human realms of geography. Fully operationalizing hybridity requires affective engagements with animals through interdisciplinary investigations of animal agency, behaviours and experiences. To this end, this article explores how animal research in geography may benefit from further extension into human-environment geographies, physical geographies and geomatics to capitalize on hybridity as both concept and practice.

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