Transspecies Urban Theory: Chickens in an African City

2015, In Jonathan Darling and Helen Wilson (eds.), Encountering the City (Aldershot UK: Ashgate).


New cultural animal geography offers conceptual tools for a reinterpretation of urbanization in Africa. This article applies transspecies urban theory to the existing literature on urban livestock in the developing world, as well as a case study of chickens in Botswana to demonstrate how cities are inextricably wrapped up in human—animal relations. A focus on animals as influential actors, and interspecies mingling encourages one to acknowledge that animals are shaped by, and are themselves central actors in the constitution of, urban form, function, and dynamics. Recognition of subaltern `animal towns’ challenges the perceived centrality of human existence.

Alice Hovorka