Extinction Stories: Inhabiting Landscapes of Loss in the Anthropocene

This project was recently funded by the Australian Research Council (Future Fellowship). It will commence in mid 2017.

In this period of mass species extinction, this multi-sited project aims to explore the cultural, political and ethical dimensions of biodiversity loss in three of the world’s ‘extinction capitals’: New South Wales (Australia), Hawai`i (USA), and the Cape Region (South Africa). Through an innovative interdisciplinary approach that brings ethnographic research into dialogue with philosophy and the natural sciences, the project asks how the loss of species, and efforts to prevent these losses, shape the contours of local people’s lives and the landscapes they inhabit.

In addition to conventional academic writing (articles and books), this project also mobilises this research in a series of public-facing interventions that aim to cultivate community understanding of why and how extinctions matter, while developing resources for an engaged public environmental humanities. Specifically, I will be aiming to compile community anthologies that explore the ‘lived experience’ of extinction in these places, as well as collaborating with colleagues in broadcasting and museums to create documentaries and a digital exhibition.

More information will follow as the project takes shape. Please get in touch with any questions or ideas.