Architectures of domestication: on emplacing human-animal relations in the North

David G Anderson* (Corresponding Author), Peter Loovers, Sara Asu Schroer, Robert P Wishart

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

50 Citations (Scopus)
15 Downloads (Pure)


This article explores human-animal relationships in the North by calling for renewed attention to the infrastructures and architectures, which inscribe them. We draw attention to the self-limiting quality of Arctic architectures that are designed to emphasize mutual autonomy. This approach challenges stark models that would create a crisp, clear separation between domestication as constituting a form of domination or a type of mutualism. By describing several key infrastructures of domestication – of tethers, enclosures, and traps – we hope to draw attention to the silencing of these domestic inventories. By revisiting the metaphor of the domus, we focus on the lands where these relationships are elaborated, relinking Arctic architectures to places of encounter. Drawing on in-depth fieldwork mainly from Northern North America and various sites in Northern Eurasia, we present an ethnographically informed account that stresses the nuanced way that strategies of control are blended with those of care and comfort creating unbounded homes that are good to live in.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)398-416
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of the Royal Anthropological Institute
Issue number2
Early online date8 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2017

Bibliographical note

This fieldwork and discussions which led to this article was sponsored by ERC Advanced Grant 295458 Arctic Domus and ESRC grant ES‐MO110548‐1 JPI Climate Humanor. We would like to thank Rob Losey, Bente Sundsvold, and Konstantin Klokov for their comments on the manuscript. We would also like to thank that particularly engaging and constructive comments from three anonymous reviewers.


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