BA (First class honours in anthropology) University of Canterbury, New Zealand
MA (Distinction in anthropology) University of Canterbury, New Zealand
Madsen Building (F09), Room 414
Phone: +61 2 9351 8093
Fax: +61 2 9036 6588
Dr Phil McManus
PhD Title: Horse festivals: place, production and performance of thoroughbred horses in Scone, New South Wales and Georgetown, Kentucky.
The main aim of this project is to contribute to the wider work currently undertaken by McManus and Albrecht, in their project ‘Constructing Nature, Tradition and Thoroughbreds’. Their aims are to analyse the various ways that ‘nature’ and ‘tradition’ is conceived and used in order to “reinforce beliefs about the ‘natural’ reproduction of thoroughbred horses”, thereby questioning the industries rejection of new reproductive technologies (McManus& Albrecht proposal. Part E). My work will focus on specific sites within the Australian and American horse breeding industry to provide a comparative analysis of the discourse(s) of ‘nature’ and ‘tradition’ used in the organisation, marketing, promotion and running of annual horse festivals held in Scone, New South Wales and in Georgetown, Kentucky.
These festivals promote their regions as ideal sites for the production of top quality thoroughbred horses. Similar discourse(s) of ‘nature’ and ‘tradition’ used in the representation of the land and of the horses assist in the creation and protection of these ‘natural’ spaces. Both festivals are a celebration of their respective regions history; a history that has developed because of their unique relationship with horses. They provide an opportunity to view events where humans and animals co-exist within the same social space and how this relationship assists in the creation of their regional identity. These celebrations of human-animal relationships enable an understanding of how, as Wolch (2002) argues, “animals are critical to the making of places and landscapes" (2002:739). This may provide insights into the perpetuation of the current practices of the horse breeding industry within their regions and across global spaces.