Research activity per year

If you made any changes in Pure these will be visible here soon.

Personal profile



Muhammad Kavesh is the author of Animal Enthusiasms (Routledge 2021) and co-editor of two special journal issues: Anthropology of Mutualism (Anthropology Today, 2023), and Sense Making in a More-than-Human World (The Australian Journal of Anthropology, 2021). He is currently working on two book projects: Spies and Other Pigeons: On the Ethics of More-than-Human Hospitality in South Asia, and Nurturing Alternate Futures: Living with Diversity in a More-than-Human World.

Kavesh’s approach is influenced by his long-standing interest in multispecies anthropology, philosophy, Sufi poetry, decolonization, and South Asian vernacular literature. Building on his immersive ethnographic research with Saraiki-speaking pigeon flyers in rural South Punjab (2008–2023), he has explored an entwinement between the works of Jacques Derrida, Emmanuel Levinas, Donna Haraway, Farid ud Din Attar (Mantaq at Tair), Waris Shah (Heer), and Naiyer Masud (Taus Chaman Ki Meena).

From mid-2023, Kavesh is engaging with an Australian Research Council’s funded multi-year project to explore how China’s soaring demand for Pakistan’s donkeys through the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (the flagship project of the Belt and Road Initiative) for developing a Chinese traditional medicine, ejiao, presents multiple challenges to the economy, employment, and multispecies relatedness in rural Pakistan.

Kavesh’s publications develop on various sources of funding, including:

  • Australian Research Council’s DECRA fellowship (2023–2027)
  • Australian Centre for International Agriculture Research (2018–2023)
  • FAS Postdoctoral Fellowship, University of Toronto (2021–2023)
  • Australian Anthropological Society’s Postdoctoral Fellowship (2019–2020)
  • Australian Government’s Endeavour Award (2014–2018)
  • South Asian Research Institute’s grant, 2017
  • Raymond Firth Award, ANU Anthropology, 2016
  • Vice Chancellor’s Student Leadership grant, ANU 2015-16
  • Robin Wood Award, AAS, 2015 

Kavesh has organized panels on topics related to multispecies anthropology at the American Anthropological Association’s annual meeting (2022), Royal Anthropological Institute’s conference (2020), and the Australian Anthropological Society’s conferences (2016 & 2019). He has presented his work at Oxford, Sydney, ANU, Toronto, Wollongong, Adelaide, York, Concordia, Lahore, and Islamabad, among other places.

Kavesh’s teaching focuses on South Asia, technology, sustainability, environmental governance, and ethnographic methods. He also carries professional work experience, working with multiple humanitarian organizations in Islamabad on the UN, European Union, and DFID projects.

Prior Qualifications

  • Faculty of Arts and Science Fellowship (University of Toronto 2021-2023)
  • Postdoctoral Fellowship (Australian Anthropological Society 2019-2020)
  • PhD (Australian National University 2018)

Selected Publications

  • Muhammad A. Kavesh, 2023, Face-to-face with the (Animal) Other: An Invitation to Decolonize the Anthropology of Pakistan. American Ethnologist, Vol 50, no. 3.
  • Muhammad A. Kavesh, 2023, Contested Flights: The Perplexity of Intruding “Spy Pigeons” at the India-Pakistan Border, Journal of Asian Studies, Vol 82, no. 2, pp. 26–35.
  • Muhammad A. Kavesh, Kuntala Lahiri-Dutt and Rajendra Adhikari, 2023, Women and Plant Entanglements: Pulses Commercialization and Care Relations in Punjab, Pakistan. Oxford Development Studies, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1080/13600818.2023.2177265.
  • Muhammad Kavesh, 2023, Donkey Trade: Challenges to Sustaining Mutualism in Rural Pakistan. Anthropology Today, Vol 39, no. 1, pp. 19–22.
  • Natasha Fijn, Catie Gressier, and Muhammad A. Kavesh, 2023, Anthropology of Mutualism. Anthropology Today, Vol. 39, no. 1, pp. 1–2.
  • Muhammad A. Kavesh, 2023, Mutualistic Self Alteration: Human-Pigeon Assemblages in Rural Pakistan, in Jean Paul Baldacchino & Christopher Houston eds. “A Time to Change. Anthropological Investigations in Modes of Self-Alteration”, Rutgers University Press: New Brunswick, Chap. 10.
  • Natasha Fijn and Muhammad A. Kavesh, Towards a Multisensorial Engagement with Animals, in Phillip Vannini ed. “Routledge Companion of Sensory Ethnography,” Routledge: New York and London.
  • Muhammad A. Kavesh, 2021, Animal Enthusiasms: Life beyond Cage and Leash in Pakistan. Routledge, London and New York.
  • Muhammad A. Kavesh, 2021 “Sensuous Entanglements: A Critique of cockfighting conceived as ‘cultural text’” Senses and Society, Vol 16, No. 2, pp. 151-163.
  • Muhammad A. Kavesh, 2021. “The Flight of the Self: Exploring More-than-human Companionship in Rural Pakistan,” The Australian Journal of Anthropology, Vol 31, No. SI(1), pp. 42-57.
  • Natasha Fijn and Muhammad A. Kavesh, 2021. “A Sensory Approach for Multispecies Anthropology,” The Australian Journal of Anthropology, Vol 31, No. SI(1), pp. 6-22.
  • Kirin Narayan and Muhammad A. Kavesh, 2019. “Priceless Enthusiasms: The Pursuit of Shauq in South Asia,” South Asia: Journal of South Asian Studies, Vol 42, No. 4. pp. 711-725.
  • Muhammad A. Kavesh, 2019. “Dog fighting: Performing Masculinity in Rural South Punjab, Pakistan,” Society & Animals, Vol. 27, No. 2, pp. 1-19
  • Muhammad A. Kavesh, 2018. “From Passion of Kings to Pastimes of Commons,” Pakistan Journal of Historical Studies, Indiana University Press, Vol 3, No. 1, pp. 61-83.


Education/Academic qualification

Anthropology, PhD, The Australian National University

External positions

Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Toronto

1 May 20211 May 2023

Expertise Areas

  • Ethics
  • Philosophy
  • Multispecies Ethnography
  • Sufism
  • Decolonization
  • Gender and Masculinities
  • sports
  • Trade and development
  • Belt and Road Initiative
  • Geopolitics
  • Geoeconomics
  • Sensory ethnography
  • multimodal anthropology
  • sustainability
  • Pakistan
  • South Asia


Dive into the research topics where Muhammad Kavesh is active. These topic labels come from the works of this person. Together they form a unique fingerprint.
  • 1 Similar Profiles

Network (past 5 years)

Recent external collaboration on country/territory level. Dive into details by clicking on the dots or