Hurricane Bomb

By Rosa E. Ficek, University of Puerto Rico at Cayey § Nobody went outside. The outside world did not exist. There was no internet or television. The power had gone out the night before, the cell phone signal early that morning. Only the radio with the one AM station that had managed to stay on air. That … More Hurricane Bomb

On Contamination: Conservation Science in Devilish Landscapes

By Meredith Root-Bernstein, Institut National de Recherche Agronomique, Grignon, France § When you first see the gold mine in Alhué you are impressed by how massive the cascade of tailings is—by how many endemic trees, shrubs, bird nests, lizards and tarantulas must be crushed underneath it. When I took photos of the hills I always tried … More On Contamination: Conservation Science in Devilish Landscapes

On Tricking Ducks: Industrial Naturecultures and the Toxic Bodies of Oil Sands Country

By Whitney Larratt-Smith, UC Davis § “We were walking for a long time before I saw it. It was an exceptionally hot day in July for Northern Alberta, intensified by the acrid fumes of bitumen, diesel, and sulfur entering my lungs. I was starting to get a headache, and felt increasingly weary walking on the scorching … More On Tricking Ducks: Industrial Naturecultures and the Toxic Bodies of Oil Sands Country

Chemical Showers: How Daily Routines Structure Our Exposures to Toxicants

By Rachael Wakefield-Rann, University of Technology Sydney § The choreography of daily life dictates how bodies are exposed to toxic chemicals. Since the 1950s, everyday consumer products from furniture, to electronics and cleaning products have become imbued with new classes of toxic chemicals. The unprecedented intimacy between industrial chemicals and human bodies in the domestic realm … More Chemical Showers: How Daily Routines Structure Our Exposures to Toxicants

Tracing Chemical Intimacies

By Sophia Jaworski (University of Toronto) A middle-aged woman in the Greater Toronto Area wears a charcoal mask in her bedroom to prevent asthma spurred by breathing in the circulation of floor varnish, cigarette smoke, and cleaning chemicals in an apartment building air vent. Needing to wear the mask is intimately tied to shortness of … More Tracing Chemical Intimacies