Piers Locke

Senior LecturerPiers Locke

Psychology Staff Block 303
Internal Phone: 94390

Qualifications & Memberships

Research Interests

Piers Locke studied social anthropology at the University of Kent, and South Asian Studies at SOAS, University of London. He completed his PhD at the University of Kent, and has held previous teaching appointments at the University of Kent and the University of Wales. He commenced ethnographic fieldwork on captive elephant management in Nepal in 2001, later apprenticing as a mahout in a government elephant stable in the Chitwan National Park. This research has been concerned with apprenticeship learning, occupational culture, the ritual veneration of elephants, and interspecies relations, while also addressing protected area management, biodiversity conservation, and ecotourism. The documentary “Servants of Ganesh” provides a portrait of the human-elephant community in which Piers resided, focussing on the training of a juvenile, captive-born elephant called Paras Gaj. Since his doctoral fieldwork, Piers’ theoretical interests have turned to posthumanism and multispecies ethnography, which have informed the development of ethnoelephantology- an interdisciplinary framework for collaboratively studying the social, historical, and ecological aspects of all kinds of human-elephant relation. This is exemplified by the recently published volume from Oxford University Press- Conflict, Negotiation, and Coexistence: Rethinking Human-Elephant Relations in South Asia.

Recent Publications

  • Locke P. and Buckingham J. (Ed.) (2016) Conflict, Negotiation, and Coexistence: Rethinking Human-Elephant Relations in South Asia. Delhi: Oxford University Press.
  • Locke PEG. (2017) Interspecies Care in a Hybrid Institution. In The Multispecies Reading Collective (Ed.), Troubling Species: Care and Belonging in a Relational World: 77-82. Munich: Rachel Carson Center. http://dx.doi.org/10.5282/rcc/7777.
  • Locke P. (2016) Animals, Persons, Gods: Negotiating Ambivalent Relationships With Captive Elephants in Chitwan, Nepal. In Locke P; Buckingham J (Ed.), Conflict, Negotiation, and Coexistence: Rethinking Human-Elephant Relations in South Asia Delhi: Oxford University Press.
  • Locke P. (2016) Introduction: Conflict, Coexistence, and the Challenge of Rethinking Human-Elephant Relations. In Locke P; Buckingham J (Ed.), Conflict, Negotiation, and Coexistence: Rethinking Human-Elephant Relations in South Asia Delhi.
  • Locke PEG. (2017) Elephants as Persons, Affective Apprenticeship, and Fieldwork with Nonhuman Informants in Nepal. HAU : Journal of Ethnographic Theory 7(1): 353-376. http://dx.doi.org/10.14318/hau7.1.024.