Dr Rosie Jones McVey
Rosie Jones McVey is a social anthropologist with research interests in the anthropology of ethics, human/animal relations, and cognition. Rosie’s PhD involved the ethnographic study of British equestrianism, and investigated the ethical and political struggle that British horsewomen face in trying to build partnerships with horses - big, strong, reactive creatures who cannot speak. The PhD examined the particular ideas of ‘good connection’ that these women pursued. This led to the development of research interests in ethics and empathy; in the role of speech in ethical life; and in the contestable meaning of the term co-operation.
Outside of academic studies, Rosie has previously had an exciting career training ‘problem’ horses all over the world. Some of her travels with horse training are recorded in “Globetrotting: A travelogue exploring horsemanship in far-flung places.” (J. A. Allen, 2015). Rosie’s new research project investigates the treatment of teenage mental health through animal assisted therapies in Britain. One aim of this project is to observe the way that discourse about teenage mental health can be seen as an example of broader British concerns about the moral health of society. For example, this includes moral concerns about communication breakdown, technological developments, and community fragmentation. This research also sets out to ask what can be gauged by the fact that animals are thought to work as a therapeutic corrective to both the moral concerns and medical conditions in focus.