Pacific Salmon Declines and the Thread-Bare Promises of Modernity

By Neil Nunn, University of Toronto § At every turn in my research examining the politics of mine-waste, salmon have spoken to me. They speak through a groundswell of activism over the last decade that amplify their struggles for life. They speak through the smell of their creek-side rotting bodies that remind me of their […]

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Ticks, Pesticides, and Biome-Subjectivity

By Abigail Dumes, University of Michigan § Fifty-five years ago, Rachel Carson published Silent Spring, a groundbreaking text that brought into view the dangers of pesticides and their overuse. In 2017, social friction in the United States over how and when and if to use pesticides has never been sharper. In the face of Trump-appointed EPA […]

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Reclaiming Nature? Indigenous Homeland and Oil Sands Territory

By Tara Joly, University of Aberdeen § Settler colonial relations construct the Athabasca region as extractive oil sands territory, yet the region remains homeland for Indigenous peoples, including Métis individuals. In my doctoral research, I argue that oil sands reclamation – the process of cleaning up extractive spaces by returning the land to a “productive” or […]

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Building Out the Rat: Animal Intimacies and Prophylactic Settlement in 1920s South Africa

By Branwyn Polykett, University of Cambridge § In the years between the two world wars another global war was declared, the war on the rat. The rat was a stray organic glitch in the logistics of imperial modernity, insinuating itself onto ships, transmitting infectious disease along trade routes, displacing local rodents, disrupting local ecologies and destroying crops […]

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The Limits of Environmentalism at Earth’s End: Reindeer Eradication and the Heritage of Hunting in the Sub-Antarctic

By James J. A. Blair, Brooklyn College, City University of New York (CUNY) § In the Arctic Circle, a Russian public health plan to cull hundreds of thousands of reindeer—in order to cleanse the landscape of anthrax-carrying bacteria—has triggered tense debate among policymakers, scientists and indigenous Nenet reindeer herders. The Nenets are refusing to allow the […]

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Settler Colonialism and Weed Ecology

By Timothy Neale, Deakin University § *All photographs are by the author Two propositions to start: there is a significant parallel (or companionship) between settlers and weeds; and, there is also a significant parallel (or companionship) between the structures of settler colonialism and those of weed ecology. These are the propositions that I want to work through […]

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