ESRC Postdoctoral Fellow
Dr Jamie Arathoon
University of Edinburgh
My doctoral thesis advanced work in animal and disability geographies by exploring the spatial, temporal, and material, relationship between physically disabled humans and their assistance dogs. I advanced geographical studies of human-animal relations by showing how an attention to care and training can help us to understand the lived experiences of these partnerships.
By focusing on lived experiences my research moves away from understanding these assistance dogs as commodities – or tools – to instead understand them as lively, minded, beings. Furthermore, my research challenges the long-held assumption that independency should be an end goal for disabled humans to ‘live a better life’. My research branched into new areas including interactions between disability studies and urban studies as well as bringing critical disability studies perspectives into veterinary discussions of euthanasia.
Fellowship accomplishments / highlights:
My highlights would be getting a proposal for a co-edited special issue of Urban Studies accepted. This is something that took long to organise, and I am glad to see this accepted and authors currently working to submit some interesting papers. A second highlight would be submitting a paper with my mentor to contribute to a special issue of the Scottish Geographical Journal.
Advice for future fellows:
Don’t be worried about not completing everything you set out to do in your proposal, inevitably new things will pop up that might be a better fit!