“Ain’t No Future in Your Future”: Temporalities of Recovery and Resilience in Flint, Michigan

By Talia Gordon, University of Chicago § A future full of possibilities starts by drinking pure quality water – Nestlé “Pure Life®” Bottled Water In October 2018, Mayor Karen Weaver delivered her third State of the City Address to a public audience scattered among the rows of the recently refurbished Capitol Theater in downtown Flint. […]

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Things That Are Not Alive, but Which May Be Alive in a Certain Way: An Interdisciplinary Essay on a Relational Theory of Life

By Meredith Root-Bernstein, AgroParisTech, INRA § This blog post is adapted from a paper given at “Anthropology Off Earth,” Collège de France and l’Observatoire de Paris, 4-5 June 2019 “What is life?” is a foundational question for both biology and anthropology. It seems unavoidable if we want to ask how life emerged on Earth, what […]

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Grounds for Climate Change Mitigation in South Korea’s Tidal Mudflats

By Gebby Keny, Rice University § Blue Carbon “The trick is to step with your right foot before your left foot touches the ground.” Offered with a knowing smile and scalding-hot bowl of blended mudskipper soup, this seasoned mudflat fisherman’s advice would prove vital as my fellow tidal mudflat ecology researchers and I ventured out […]

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Decolonizing Extinction: An Interview with Juno Salazar Parreñas

Decolonizing Extinction: The Work of Care in Orangutan Rehabilitation By Juno Salazar Parreñas, The Ohio State University 288pp. Durham, NC: Duke University Press § Colin Hoag spoke with Prof. Juno Salazar Parreñas about her recent book on orangutan rehabilitation in Malaysia.     For Engagement readers who have not yet read your book, could you […]

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The Time Travelers: Ambiguous Returns

By Elaine Gan, New York University §  H. G. Wells’ 1895 novel introduced us to a modernist conception of a time machine, a humanmade device that renders time as place, a mode of transport that shuttles back and forth along a fourth dimension that sequences past, present, and future. Wells’ lone time traveler, a man […]

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Who Is Afraid of CRISPR Art?

By Eben Kirksey, University of New South Wales § Originally published in Somatosphere A crowd-sourced Indiegogo funding campaign that raised over $45,000 for do-it-yourself gene editing kits in December, asks: “If you had access to modern synthetic biology tools, what would you create?”  This campaign, which aims to democratize science “so everyone has access,” was launched by […]

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Plantworlds in West Papua

By Sophie Chao, Macquarie University, Sydney, Australia § First published in Anthropology & Environment Society’s section of Anthropology News Rejecting human exceptionalism and exploring the subjective lifeworlds and particular agencies of non-human species with whom human existence is intertwined, the multispecies turn challenges us with the possibility of biocultural hope in the blasted landscapes of the Anthropocene (Kirksey et […]

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Some Organs of My Primate Body

By Daniel Allen Solomon, De Anza College and Cabrillo College § The “monkey temple” on Jakhoo Hill in Shimla hosts a rowdy but well integrated bunch of rhesus macaques. Though the monkeys graze upon the grassy lawns at Jakhoo Mandir, and eat a variety of plant foods from the adjacent city and woodlands, they take […]

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Revisiting the Human in These Multispecies Landscapes

By Jared Margulies, University of Maryland Baltimore County § *Photographs by Indra Kumar, reproduced with permission. Indra shows me some photographs he’s taken recently of a variety of animals. I’m sitting with him as he explains why he took each picture, what he likes (or doesn’t) in each photograph, and their technical merits. These photographs […]

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What the Seed Knows of the Soil

By Kay E. Lewis-Jones, University of Kent §   Attending to the Seed On a December afternoon in the upper west side of Manhattan, a group of people sat in a darkened room and tried to think like seeds. In their hands they held their mentors – Acer rubrum seeds from a park across the street – […]

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