Carolyn Barnes

Graduate Student of Sociocultural Anthropology

Research Interests

My research examines the history and cultures of thoroughbred training and racing in central Kentucky, and it draws on and contributes to several fields in the humanities and social sciences, including multispecies ethnography, agrarian studies, animal studies, medical anthropology, and the anthropology of biocapitalism.  

As a part of my ongoing, yearlong (2017) research project in central Kentucky, I work as a hot walker on a thoroughbred training team, I shadow and interview trainers and other industry stakeholders, and I conduct participant observation at training centers, farms, and tracks.  Through this experience, I seek to gain an understanding of the everyday lives, perspectives, and working knowledge of the people who prepare thoroughbreds to race. 

This dissertation project is fully funded by the Wenner-Gren Foundation’s Doctoral Dissertation Fieldwork Grant and the Graduate School for Arts and Sciences at Washington University in St Louis.

contact info:

mailing address:

  • Washington University
  • CB 1114
  • One Brookings Drive
  • St. Louis, MO 63130-4899
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