Muhammad Kavesh is an Australian Anthropological Society's 2020 Postdoctoral Fellow, affiliated with School of Culture, History, and Language, at the Australian National University. His upcoming book Animal Enthusiasms: Life Beyond Cage and Leash in Rural Pakistan (Routledge 2020, part of Rebecca Cassidy and Garry Marvin series "Multispecies Anthropology: New Ethnographies) is based on two-year ethnographic fieldwork (conducted between 2008-2018). The book examines how human-animal relationships are conceived, developed, and carried out in rural Pakistani Muslim society, and how can we explore diverse modalities of inter-species intimacy through activities like pigeon flying, cockfighting, and dogfighting. Kavesh will start his next postdoctoral fellowship in the Anthropology Department at the University of Toronto in late-2020. This project will examine the ethics of air-surveillance through "spy pigeons" on Indian-Pakistani border, and its ethical, moral, religious, and political significance in contemporary South Asia.
Kavesh's writings have appeared in Society & Animal, The Asia and Pacific Journal of Anthropology, South Asia, and Pakistan Journal of Historical Studies (Indiana University Press), among other outlets. He is co-editing a special issue (with Dr Natasha Fijn) for The Australian Journal of Anthropology (TAJA) in late-2020 on "Sense Making in More-than-Human World."
Kavesh has three-year teaching experience at the Australian National University where he convened courses such as "The Making of South Asia (2018)", "Culture and Modernity in Asia (2019)", and "Anthropology and Technology in India (2020)". His research support work includes working with Crawford School of Public Policy (ANU), School of Culture, History, and Language (ANU), and Research School of Management (ANU). He also carries professional work experience of working with multiple humanitarian organization in Islamabad (Pakistan) on the UN, European Union, and DFID projects.
Other than presenting his research in a dozen conferences and workshops, Kavesh has co-organized panels in Australian Anthropological Society's annual conferences (2016, 2019). His volunteering works include serving on ANU Student Leadership Team (2016-2017), postgraduate coordinator for South Asian Research Institute (2017), and convenor for the anthropology thesis writing group (2015-2017).
Narayan, K. & Kavesh, M. A. (2019) “Priceless Pursuits: Following Enthusiasm in North India and Pakistan,” South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies (Vol 42, No. 4, pp. 711-725)
Kavesh, M. A. (2019) “Dog fighting: Performing Masculinity in Rural South Punjab, Pakistan,” Society and Animal, Journal of Human-Animal Studies, (Vol 27, No. 2, pp. 1-19)
Kavesh, M. A. (2018) "From Passion of Kings to Pastimes of the People: Pigeon Flying, Cockfighting, and Dogfighting in South Asia,” Pakistan Journal of Historical Studies, Indiana University Press, USA (Vol 3, No. 1, pp. 61-83).
Kavesh, M. A. (2018) “From Colony to Post-Colony: Animal Baiting and Religious Festivals in South Punjab, Pakistan” in David W. Kim’s ed. “Colonial transformation and Asian Religions in Modern History”, CSP, Newcastle pp. 10-29.
Kavesh, M. A. (2017) Review of “Wrestlers, Pigeon Fanciers and Kite Flyers: Traditional Sports and Pastimes in Lahore.” A book by Frembgen, Jürgen Wasim and Paul Rollier. (2014) in South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies February Vol 40, issue 1, pp. 202-203.
Kavesh, M. A. (2017) Review of “Under the Palace Wall.” A film by David MacDougall in The Asia and Pacific Journal of Anthropology, Vol 18, issue 3, pp. 277-279.
Recent Conference Papers
2019: "The Flight of the Soul: Understanding the Self through Farid-ud-Din Attar's conceptualization of Shauq.” in Australian Anthropological Society’s conference (Values in Anthropology, Values of Anthropology) from 2-5 December.
2017: “Cultivating the Self: the rhythms and delights of human-animal intimacy in Pakistan,” in Australian Anthropological Society’s Conference (Shifting States), 11-15 December.
2017: “An Ideal Time: Understanding Shauq and Work in the Company of Pakistani Pigeon Flyers,” in Time, Technologies, and the Anthropocene workshop, 11 September.
2016: “Knowledge of the self and ‘others’,” in 21st Biennial Conference of Asian Studies Association of Australia (ASAA), 5-7 July.
2016: “Shrines and Politics: Corruption in the Muslim Rural Festivals of South Punjab, Pakistan,” in Religious Transformation in Asian History Conference, 7-9 April.
2016: “Masculinity, Gender, & Animals,” in Beyond the Human: Feminism and the Animal Turn Conference, 9-10 February.