Nik is a critical and public sociologist whose research focusses on  mechanisms of power and marginalisation expressed in/through human relations with other species and is informed by critical/ intersectional feminism. She currently teaches topics at the University of Canterbury on human-animal relationships, scholar-advocacy, social change, and crime and deviance, particularly domestic violence and animal abuse.

You can access many of her journal articles freely on Researchgate

Books

Companion Animals and Domestic Violence: Rescuing You, Rescuing Me

In this book, Nik Taylor and Heather Fraser consider how we might better understand human-animal companionship in the context of domestic violence. The authors advocate an intersectional feminist understanding, drawing on a variety of data from numerous projects they have conducted with people, about their companion animals and links between domestic violence and animal abuse, arguing for a new understanding that enables animals to be constituted as victims of domestic violence in their own right. The chapters analyse the mutual, loving connections that can be formed across species, and in households where there is domestic violence. Companion Animals and Domestic Violence also speaks to the potentially soothing, healing and recovery oriented aspects of human-companion animal relationships before, during and after the violence, and will be of interest to  various academic disciplines including social work, anthropology, sociology, philosophy, geography, as well as to professionals working in domestic violence or animal welfare service provision. 

The Rise of Critical Animal Studies

As the scholarly and interdisciplinary study of human/animal relations becomes crucial to the urgent questions of our time, notably in relation to environmental crisis, this collection explores the inner tensions within the relatively new and broad field of animal studies. This provides a platform for the latest critical thinking on the condition and experience of animals. The volume is structured around four sections:

  • engaging theory
  • doing critical animal studies
  • critical animal studies and anti-capitalism
  • contesting the human, liberating the animal: veganism and activism.

The Rise of Critical Animal Studies demonstrates the centrality of the contribution of critical animal studies to vitally important contemporary debates and considers future directions for the field. This edited collection will be useful for students and scholars of sociology, gender studies, psychology, geography, and social work.

Humans, Animals and Society: An Introduction to Human-Animal Studies

Whereas animals have played a central part in human society over the years, when it comes to the social sciences they have largely been neglected. However, interest in Human & Animal Studies (HAS) has grown exponentially in recent years, giving rise to university and college courses around the world specifically on this compelling and vital subject. Considering topics ranging from the human & animal bond, meat eating, and animals in entertainment, this book presents key concepts in simple and easy-to-understand ways as it covers the breadth of empirical work currently being done in the field. Through an examination of ideas such as anthropocentrism and the social construction of animals, it looks at how animals are symbolically transformed, presented, and re-presented as part of human culture. Ultimately, the book argues that there is nothing “natural” about our social relations with animals, but that animals are made use of and understood through a human lens.  Humans, Animals, and Society spans the diverse interests of the HAS community and is necessary reading for students and the general public looking to better understand our relationship with animals.

Ethnography After Humanism

This book argues that qualitative methods, ethnography included, have tended to focus on the human at the cost of understanding humans and animals in relation, and that ethnography should evolve to account for the relationships between humans and other species. Intellectual recognition of this has arrived within the field of human-animal studies and in the philosophical development of posthumanism but there are few practical guidelines for research. Taking this problem as a starting point, the authors draw on a wide array of examples from visual methods, ethnodrama, poetry and movement studies to consider the political, philosophical and practical consequences of posthuman methods. They outline the possibilities for creative new forms of ethnography that eschew simplistic binaries between humans and animals.  Ethnography after Humanism suggests how researchers could conduct different forms of fieldwork and writing to include animals more fruitfully and will be of interest to students and scholars across a range of disciplines, including human-animal studies, sociology, criminology, animal geography, anthropology, social theory and natural resources. 

Theorizing Animals

Utilising ideas from post-modernism and post-humanism this book challenges current ways of thinking about animals and their relationships with humans. Including contributions from across the social sciences the book encourages readers to reflect upon taken for granted ways of conceptualising human relaitonships with animals. It will be of interest to those in the broad field of human-animal studies as well as those within most social science and humanities disciplines including sociology, anthropology, philosophy and social theory.

Neoliberalization, Universities and the Public Intellectual: Species, Gender and Class and the Production of Knowledge

This book employs an an intersectional feminist approach to highlight how research and teaching agendas are being skewed by commercialized, corporatized and commodified values and assumptions implicit in the neoliberalization of the academy. The authors combine 50 years of academic experience and focus on species, gender and class as they document the hazardous consequences of seeing people as instruments and knowledge as a form of capital. Personal-political examples are provided to illustrate some of the challenges but also opportunities facing activist scholars trying to resist neoliberalism. Heartfelt, frank, and unashamedly emotional, the book is a rallying cry for academics to defend their role as public intellectuals, to work together with communities, including those most negatively affected by neoliberalism and the corportatization of knowledge.  

Animals at Work

Animals at Work is founded upon a broad and unique variety of empirical research settings – animal sanctuaries, farms, slaughter-houses, veterinary practices and behind the scenes of a natural history documentary film-making team. Hamilton and Taylor apply a breadth of post-structural and post-humanist theories to establish what happens when animal-agents are brought into human networks and spaces of representation, and the artful ways in which they become integral in shared human meaning-making. Interrogating the apparent boundaries of meaning between animals and humans by taking a close-up view of those working with animals in a variety of occupational settings, the book enjoys a rare and original range of empirical research contexts from British dairy farms to the jungles of Borneo.

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