O’Mahony, Kieran

Kieran O'Mahony
Start date:
October 2015
Research Topic:
Where the Wild Things Are- Living With governing Wild Boar
Research pathway:
Research Supervisor:
Dr. Gareth Enticott (main supervisor) Dr. Jonathan Prior (co-supervisor)
Supervising school:
School of Planning and Geography,
Primary funding source:
ESRC Studentship

Wild boar have returned to the British landscape, through accidental escapes from farms and more furtive, intentional releases by environmental activists. In locations where wild boar are now feral, to use official vernacular, or reintroduced, they are having significant impacts on notions of rurality, identity, and our understanding of the wild. Increasingly, however, this has also fed into wider national debates about environmental planning and the nature of place.

This PhD will use the case of wild boar to explore contemporary discussions around rewilding, biosecurity and environmental governance. Within these, animals are represented in different ways by actors with competing philosophies of nature which assert alternative constructions of landscape, identity and knowledge over others. Specifically, it will explore the ways in which: wild boar challenge accepted notions of place and space; they fit into or transgress the differing metaphysical boundaries and categorisations we apply to non-human others; human actors live with nature, and are included or excluded from governance.