Ms Linda Madden

BA Massey University, BA(hons) University of Auckland

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Doctoral Candidate - Doctor of Philosophy


Linda is a PhD student in the School of Environment, but firmly embedded in the cultural and social side of  the department! Her work focuses on animal geographies in Auckland City, and Linda is attempting to intregrate her hectic family life (including animals) with her academic interests through her explorations of the everyday and emotional connections we have with non-human animals and the connections with the places we live in.

Research | Current

As both pet ‘owner’ and academic, I have always observed a disconnection between the emotional, meaningful engagements we have with non-human animals (our embodied practice) and spaces of knowledge production that often still value empiricism and dislocation between researcher and subject. Contrary to my personal encounters with animals,  non-humans remain largely unrecognized in most accounts of urban geographic landscapes. Focusing on Auckland, my doctoral research examines what boundaries (physical and ontological) exist that inhibit the places and manner in which we interact with animals, and how their academic treatment  contributes to this. I then draw on posthuman philosophy to re-imagine what types of ‘assemblages’ (of people, beasts, places, objects, symbols and events) facilitate interspecies encounters, and how such engagements transgress the species divide through bodily and emotional shared experiences.


While my PhD focues on animal geographies, my broader research interests include investigation who (and what) can be social ‘agents’, the production of urban space, and the relationship between academic theory and practice in a social science context. I am also interested in alternative mappings, and visual presentations of data, including moving image technologies and audio-scapes.

Postgraduate supervision

Robin Kearns and Ward Friesen

Areas of expertise

Animal geographies, post-human philosophy, assemblage theory, urban geographies