Nina Welters

KU Eichstätt-Ingolstadt

Am Marktplatz 2

85072 Eichstätt

Nina Welters holds a master´s degree in geography from the Rheinische Friedrich-Wilhelms-Universität Bonn. During her studies she concentrated on a variety of topics and geographical regions, from political conflicts and mental health in the Middle East to land distribution in Namibia or varying representations of China´s “Belt and Road Initiative”. In her master thesis, Nina analyzed typical attributions of the region “Rhineland” and the underlying intentions of their usage by selected regional networks.

Her dissertation with the working title “Hunting `the wild´. (Re-)configurations of `the wild´ through dynamics of practices, imaginations and place” will focus on how “the wild” is configured as a place of experiences worth seeking – or hunting for.

Hunting “the wild”. (Re-)configurations of “the wild” through dynamics of practices, imaginations and place

Hunting is typically regarded and publicly often criticized as a rather archaic and outdated process of tracking and shooting an animal. However, it can also be understood in a more symbolic way. As a superordinate term, hunting can be referred to as a practice of going after or chasing a specific desire – be it a material object, a living being or immaterialities. One thing that has gained a special value in today´s modern(ised) world, is the experience of seemingly “original” nature and animals – often phrased under the term “the wild”. More and more people can be found participating in a variety of practices of hunting “the wild”, influenced by certain desires, motivations, and geographical imaginations at predestined places.

While there already is a great range of research revolving around what is understood as wilderness, it is rarely discussed how these varying desires and seemingly pre-existing configurations come into practice and thereby shape the places of “the wild”. Therefore, this project aims at dissecting elements of practices and imaginations revolving around “the wild” and place them in a wider context of postcolonial discussions. Furthermore, it wants to contribute to a practice-based approach to better understand desire as well as the process of succeeding at its fulfilment and its volatility. As tools, a variety of ethnographic methods like observatory participation, go-along interviews or ero-epical conversations is used and complemented by semi-structured interviews and Social Media analysis to capture different practices and types of hunting “the wild”.