Extinction Studies

Stories of Time, Death, and Generations

Edited by Deborah Bird Rose, Thom van Dooren, and Matthew Chrulew. Foreword by Cary Wolfe

Columbia University Press

Extinction Studies

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Pub Date: May 2017

ISBN: 9780231178815

256 Pages

Format: Paperback

List Price: $30.00

Pub Date: May 2017

ISBN: 9780231178808

256 Pages

Format: Hardcover

List Price: $90.00

Pub Date: May 2017

ISBN: 9780231544542

256 Pages

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Extinction Studies

Stories of Time, Death, and Generations

Edited by Deborah Bird Rose, Thom van Dooren, and Matthew Chrulew. Foreword by Cary Wolfe

Columbia University Press

Extinction Studies focuses on the entangled ecological and social dimensions of extinction, exploring the ways in which extinction catastrophically interrupts life-giving processes of time, death, and generations. The volume opens up important philosophical questions about our place in, and obligations to, a more-than-human world. Drawing on fieldwork, philosophy, literature, history, and a range of other perspectives, each of the chapters in this book tells a unique extinction story that explores what extinction is, what it means, why it matters—and to whom.
Extinction Studies collects haunting and haunted multivoiced stories that echo together in a vibrant plea for an ethic of care, lucidity, and obstinate, stammering hope. We need such stories to make us feel and think with the unraveling of a world we inherit and share together with innumerable entangled forms and ways of life. We need them also to repopulate our devastated imaginations and to help us escape the twin easy temptations of nihilist despair and blind confidence. Isabelle Stengers, author of Cosmopolitics
This extraordinary collection addresses one of the most sobering aspects of the current environmental crisis. The contributing scholars use narrative as the vehicle for their historical, ethnographic, zoological, meditative, and poetic insights. The result is both personal and scholarly, both illuminating and a pleasure to read. Harriet Ritvo, Arthur J. Conner Professor of History, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Extinction Studies makes an important contribution to human-animal studies and the environmental humanities as the volume explores what extinctions and recoveries of endangered animal species mean in different cultural contexts. These perceptive and wide-ranging essays focus on the narrative and philosophical frameworks that turn the ecological reduction of bioabundance and biodiversity into sources of reflection about human and more-than-human ways of life as they unfold across generations and evolutionary ages. These analyses and meditations acknowledge both that animals can never be fully assimilated to human understanding, and that human stories play a crucial role in shaping the bonds with animals that take multispecies communities into a future of danger, but also of hope and exuberance. Ursula K. Heise, Marcia H. Howard Chair in Literary Studies, University of California, Los Angeles
Human-caused extinction challenges our own survival—but also our compassion and our ability to tell stories adequate to shifting configurations of 'us' and 'them.' This volume gathers seven fine storytellers who show us what it means to lose or save another animal species in an era of rapid extinctions. These are tales of passion, time, conflict, learning, slaughter, imprisonment, and prayer. Drawing upon their common membership in an interdisciplinary and international working group on extinction studies, the authors show the potential of the environmental humanities to address one of the major crises of our moment in history. Anna Tsing, University of California, Santa Cruz
The studies contained in this volume cross species and kingdom boundaries, and are full of hope just as much as grief and mourning. In bearing witness to the lives of species that are functionally and/or already extinct, the authors present multiple modes of response and responsibility for those of us who remain. Brett Buchanan, associate professor of philosophy and director of the School of the Environment at Laurentian University
Foreword, by Cary Wolfe
Introduction: Telling Extinction Stories, by Deborah Bird Rose, Thom van Dooren, and Matthew Chrulew"
1. Walking with Okami, the Large-Mouthed Pure God, by James Hatley
2. Saving the Golden Lion Tamarin, by Matthew Chrulew
3. Extinction in a Distant Land: The Question of Elliot's Bird of Paradise, by Rick De Vos
4. Monk Seals at the Edge: Blessings in a Time of Peril, by Deborah Bird Rose
5. Encountering Leatherbacks in Multispecies Knots of Time, by Michelle Bastian
6. Spectral Crows in Hawai'i: Conservation and the Work of Inheritance, by Thom van Dooren
Afterword: It Is an Entire World That Has Disappeared, by Vinciane Despret
Contributors
Index

About the Author

Deborah Bird Rose is adjunct professor of environmental humanities at the University of New South Wales.

Thom van Dooren is associate professor of environmental humanities at the University of New South Wales.

Matthew Chrulew is a research fellow in the Centre for Culture and Technology at Curtin University.