My research looks at the production of human-animal morals among wildlife conservationists, hunters, and animal welfare groups in Jordan. What does the ‘proper’ treatment of animals entail? How are animal compassion and animal cruelty described, defined, and debated? And how are multispecies morals linked to other discourses of morality in Jordan – in particular, what it means to be a good Muslim, or to be a good citizen, or to strive for progress and modernity? Exploring these questions helps to reveal that debates about animals – and the politics of compassion and care they engender – are often reflective of larger discourses and practices of human morality, aid, and welfare.
I am also undertaking a longer-term project on the revival of the hima system of natural resource management across the Middle East, examining the use of Islamic heritage as a discourse of ethical stewardship in contemporary practices of environmental conservation. Past work includes research on visual selling practices in the marketplaces of Damascus, Syria, and applied research in climate change education in the department of Environment, Culture, and Conservation (ECCo) at Chicago’s Field Museum.