Erich Hörl, James Burton (eds.): General Ecology: The New Ecological Paradigm (2017)

3 October 2017, dusan

“Ecology has become one of the most urgent and lively fields in both the humanities and sciences. In a dramatic widening of scope beyond its original concern with the coexistence of living organisms within a natural environment, it is now recognized that there are ecologies of mind, information, sensation, perception, power, participation, media, behavior, belonging, values, the social, the political… a thousand ecologies. This proliferation is not simply a metaphorical extension of the figurative potential of natural ecology: rather, it reflects the thoroughgoing imbrication of natural and technological elements in the constitution of the contemporary environments we inhabit, the rise of a cybernetic natural state, with its corresponding mode of power. Hence this ecology of ecologies initiates and demands that we go beyond the specificity of any particular ecology: a general thinking of ecology which may also constitute an ecological transformation of thought itself is required.

In this ambitious and radical new volume of writings, some of the most exciting contemporary thinkers in the field take on the task of revealing and theorizing the extent of the ecologization of existence as the effect of our contemporary sociotechnological condition: together, they bring out the complexity and urgency of the challenge of ecological thought-one we cannot avoid if we want to ask and indeed have a chance of affecting what forms of life, agency, modes of existence, human or otherwise, will participate-and how-in this planet’s future.”

With texts by Erich Hörl, Luciana Parisi, Frédéric Neyrat, Bernard Stiegler, Didier Debaise, Jussi Parikka, Bruce Clarke, Cary Wolfe, David Wills, James Burton, Elena Esposito, Timothy Morton, Matthew Fuller and Olga Goriunova, and Brian Massumi.

Publisher Bloomsbury Academic, London/New York, 2017
ISBN 9781350014695, 1350014699
xv+384 pages

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The Word for World Is Still Forest (2017)

28 August 2017, dusan

“Taking its title from Ursula K. Le Guin’s 1972 novella, The Word for World Is Still Forest curates an homage to the forest as a turbulent, interconnected, multinature.

Moving from concepts of the forest as a thinking organism to the linear monocultural plantations that now threaten the life of global forests, the volume includes an interview with anthropologist Eduardo Kohn on perspectival multinatural semiotics based on his observations in Ecuador as well as a piece by Canadian forest ecologist Suzanne Simard, with visualizations by Kevin Beiler, examining how fungi networks uptake nutrients of salmon brought from sea to river to land by grizzlies and wolves. Curator Dan Handel presents an excerpted exhibition on “wood” as a vital element of forest mythology and the driver of industrial resource management. Media designer and data curator Yanni A. Loukissas adds a series of reflections on botanical data from Harvard University’s Arnold Arboretum.

An original typography of tree forms from artist Katie Holten’s Tree Alphabet reconnects the paper of the book page to its forest genealogy. Brazilian architect and urbanist Paulo Tavares contributes an annotated visual composition on Amazonian human rights violations and indigenous struggle, highlighting the hybrid literacies required by resistance movements fighting illegal logging and plantations. Shannon Lee Castleman also addresses illegal logging in her photo essay on the incremental harvesting practices in the diminished tropical forests of Indonesia, while the landscape architect Sandra Bartoli offers a little known history of the ancient trees of the urban forest known as the Berlin Tiergarten and Silvan Linden portrays a case study of Berlin’s ever-more controversial urban “wild.” The Nonuya elder and shaman Abel Rodríguez contributes an oral narrative of the Ancestral Tree of Plenty, transcribed in collaboration with the Tropen Bos International Colombia forest conservation group, alongside a series of his drawings of medicinal plants used for botanical conservation efforts. In resonance, the book also contains an essay by Pedro Neves Marques about the particularity of Amerindian images of naturecultures. Finally, the book includes excerpts of Ursula K. Le Guin’s original text, The Word for World Is Forest.”

With contributions by Sandra Bartoli, Shannon Lee Castleman, Dan Handel, Katie Holten, Eduardo Kohn, Ursula K. Le Guin, Silvan Linden, Yanni A. Loukissas, Abel Rodríguez, Suzanne Simard & Kevin Beiler, Paulo Tavares, and others.

Edited by Anna-Sophie Springer and Etienne Turpin
Publisher K. Verlag & Haus der Kulturen der Welt, Berlin, 2017
Intercalations series, 4
ISBN 9783981863505
xix+202 pages

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Donna J. Haraway: Staying with the Trouble: Making Kin in the Chthulucene (2016)

29 December 2016, dusan

“In the midst of spiraling ecological devastation, multispecies feminist theorist Donna J. Haraway offers provocative new ways to reconfigure our relations to the earth and all its inhabitants. She eschews referring to our current epoch as the Anthropocene, preferring to conceptualize it as what she calls the Chthulucene, as it more aptly and fully describes our epoch as one in which the human and nonhuman are inextricably linked in tentacular practices. The Chthulucene, Haraway explains, requires sym-poiesis, or making-with, rather than auto-poiesis, or self-making. Learning to stay with the trouble of living and dying together on a damaged earth will prove more conducive to the kind of thinking that would provide the means to building more livable futures. Theoretically and methodologically driven by the signifier SF—string figures, science fact, science fiction, speculative feminism, speculative fabulation, so far—Staying with the Trouble further cements Haraway’s reputation as one of the most daring and original thinkers of our time.”

Publisher Duke University Press, 2016
Experimental Futures series
ISBN 9780822373780, 0822373785
xv+296 pages

Talk (video, 25 min, 2014)

Reviews: Archie Davies (Antipode, 2016), Matt Thompson (Savage Minds, 2016).

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Stacy Alaimo, Susan Hekman (eds.): Material Feminisms (2008)

9 September 2016, dusan

“Harnessing the energy of provocative theories generated by recent understandings of the human body, the natural world, and the material world, Material Feminisms presents a new way for feminists to conceive of the question of materiality. In lively and timely essays, an international group of feminist thinkers challenges the assumptions and norms that have previously defined studies about the body. These wide-ranging essays grapple with topics such as the material reality of race, the significance of sexual difference, the impact of disability experience, and the complex interaction between nature and culture in traumatic events such as Hurricane Katrina. By insisting on the importance of materiality, this volume breaks new ground in philosophy, feminist theory, cultural studies, science studies, and other fields where the body and nature collide.”

Publisher Indiana University Press, Bloomington, 2008
ISBN 9780253349781, 0253349788
xi+434 pages
via marcelo

Reviews: Olivia P. Banner (Signs 2009), Anna Carastathis (Symposium 2009), Maria Angel (Australian Feminist Studies 2009), Cara Elana Erdheim (Interdiscip Stud Lit Environ 2010).

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Donna Haraway: Primate Visions: Gender, Race, and Nature in the World of Modern Science (1989)

19 June 2016, dusan

“Haraway’s discussions of how scientists have perceived the sexual nature of female primates opens a new chapter in feminist theory, raising unsettling questions about models of the family and of heterosexuality in primate research.”

This “large book may be read from start to finish as a chronological and thematic survey of twentieth-century primatology. … But each chapter is simultaneously history of science, cultural studies, feminist exploration, and engaged intervention into the constitutions of love and knowledge in the disciplined crafting of the Primate Order. … My placing this account of primatology within SF–the narratives of speculative fiction and scientific fact–is an invitation for the readers of Primate Visions–historians, culture critics, feminists, anthropologists, biologists, anti-racists, and nature lovers–to remap the borderlands between nature and culture.” (from the Introduction)

Publisher Routledge, 1989
ISBN 0415902940, 9780415902946
ix+486 pages

Reviews: George E. Marcus (Science 1990), Alison Jolly and Margaretta Jolly (New Scientist 1990), Robin Dunbar (NY Times 1990), Louise Krasniewicz and Michael Blitz (Discourse 1990), Anne Fausto-Sterling (J Hist Biology 1990), Susan Cachel (Am J Primatology 1990), Meredith F. Small (Am J Physical Anthropology 1990), Sarah Franklin (J Hist Sexuality 1990), Matt Cartmill (Int J Primatology 1991), M. Lynn Byrd (H-Ideas 2001).

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