top of page

Josh Sterlin

L4E PhD Fellow – McGill University


I received my BA in Anthropology from McGill University in 2013. I then spent two years as a student and teacher at the Wilderness Awareness School in Washington State. There I learned to put my anthropological training into rewilding practice. Returning to academia, I received an MSc in People and Environment (Anthropology) at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Presently, I am a PhD candidate in the Department of Natural Resource Sciences (Renewable Resources) at McGill University as part of the Leadership for the Ecozoic program. My research focuses upon the growing nature-connection movement. By ethnographically examining the ways in which these groups are attempting to ‘rewild’ their (human) cultures I am looking to tease out how both classic anthropological questions, knowledge, and categories are taken up, asked and answered by this emerging trend. This includes a re-assement of the conflicted concept of Traditional Ecological Knowledge, the charged history and implications of hunter-gatherer studies, the prospect of ‘new animisms’, biosemiotics and the possibilities for an anthropology beyond the human, and theories of political ontology. By attending, and corresponding with, the manners by which these groups engage with each other and the more-than-human world, through animal tracking, wild harvesting, cultural rituals of connection, and so on, I examine their rewilding praxis and the implications for personal, as well as cultural change amidst a time of ecological catastrophes, and seeming deracination. I have as well taken forays into work on a law beyond the human, the genre of horror as seen through an animist lens, among other related endeavors of thinking animacy otherwise.



Shadow Animism and Ontological Xenophobia: An Anthropology of Horror

Joshua Sterlin (2022). Edward Elgar Publishing. Visual Anthropology, 35:2, 158-182, DOI: 10.1080/08949468.2022.2063673


Posthuman legalities. New Materialism and Law Beyond the Human.

Anna Grear, Emille Boulot, Iván Darío Vargas-Roncancio, and Joshua Sterlin (Editors). 2021. Edward Elgar Publishing.


Steps Towards a Legal Ontological Turn: Proposals for Law's Place beyond the Human

L4E Contributors:  Emille Boulot & Joshua Sterlin. In  Transnational Environmental Law, 1-26. 2021



In Uneven Earth. 2021.


Earth Day: The Roots of our Current Environmental Crises o Back 12.000

In The Conversation. 2020


The Civilicene and its Alternatives: Anthropology and its Longue Durée.

In Liberty and the Ecological Crisis. Freedom on a Finite Planet 2019.

Screen Shot 2019-08-22 at 2.51.37 PM.png

From the Anthropocene to Mutual Thriving: An Agenda for Higher Education in the Ecozoic

L4E Contributors:  Ivan Vargas Roncancio, Leah Temper, Joshua Sterlin, Nina L. Smolyar, Shaun Sellers, Maya Moore, Rigo Melgar-Melgar, Jolyon Larson, Catherine Horner, Jon D. Erickson, Megan Egler, Peter G. Brown, Emille Boulot, Tina Beigi and Michael Babcock In: Sustainability 2019, 11(12), 3312.

bottom of page