Welcoming the foreigner: Notes on the possibility of multispecies hospitality

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    Abstract

    What do the welcome and the refusal mean when the one who arrives is not human? By examining the moral attitude created through the acceptance of European racing pigeons in Pakistan and the capture of Pakistani “spy pigeons” at the India-Pakistan border, this article unknots multiple meanings of arrival and explores how shared values of hospitality and hostility emerge and interplay when a more-than-human Other arrives in a foreign land as an invited guest or an uninvited intruder. Drawing on Jacques Derrida's (2000) construction of hostpitality and Punjabi Sufi poet-philosopher Waris Shah's discussion of badal (reciprocity), this article contends that in South Asia, reciprocal exchanges produce and sustain cooperative, competitive, or antagonistic bonds and propound an analytical avenue to critically rethink deconstruction of the home as a sovereign space.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)109-119
    JournalAmerican Anthropologist
    Volume126
    Issue number1
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2023

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