Drafts of all of the below papers have been completed and are awaiting publication. Please get in touch if you’d like to see any of them.
Teaching the Environmental Humanities: International Perspectives and Practices
Forthcoming in Environmental Humanities (2019), vol. 11.2
Authors: Emily O’Gorman, Thom van Dooren, Ursula Münster, Joni Adamson, Christof Mauch, Sverker Sörlin, Marco Armiero, Kati Lindström, Donna Houston, José Augusto Pádua, Kate Rigby, Owain Jones, Judy Motion, Stephen Muecke, Chia-ju Chang, Shuyuan Lu, Christopher Jones, Lesley Green, Frank Matose, Hedley Twidle, Matthew Schneider-Mayerson, Bethany Wiggin, and Dolly Jørgensen.
Abstract: This article provides the first international overview and detailed discussion of teaching in the environmental humanities (EH). It is divided into three parts. The first offers a series of regional overviews: where, when, and how is EH teaching taking place. This part highlights some key regional variability in the uptake of teaching in this area, emphasising important differences in cultural and pedagogical contexts. The second part is a critical engagement with some of the key challenges and opportunities that are emerging in EH teaching, centring on: how the field is being defined; shared concepts and ideas; interdisciplinary pedagogies; and the centrality of experimental and public-facing approaches to teaching. The final part of the article offers six brief summaries of experimental pedagogies from our authorship team that aim to give a concrete sense of EH teaching in practice.
Moving Birds in Hawai’i: Assisted colonisation in a colonised land
For Matthew Chrulew and Rick De Vos (eds.) “Extinction Studies: Stories of Unravelling and Reworlding” special issue of Cultural Studies Review, 2019.
Abstract: In September 2011, a delicate cargo of 24 Nihoa Millerbirds was carefully loaded by conservationists onto a ship for a three-day voyage to Laysan Island in the remote Northwest Hawaiian Islands. The goal of this effort was to establish a second population of this endangered species, an “insurance population” in the face of the mounting pressures of climate change and potential new biotic arrivals. But the millerbird, or ulūlu in Hawaiian, is just one of the many avian species to become the subject of this kind of “assisted colonisation.” In Hawai’i, and around the world, recent years have seen a broad range of efforts to safeguard species by finding them homes in new places. Thinking through the ulūlu project, this article explores the challenges and possibilities of assisted colonisation in this colonised land. What does it mean to move birds in the context of the long, and ongoing, history of dispossession of the Kānaka Maoli, the Native Hawaiian people? How are distinct but entangled process of colonisation, of unworlding, at work in the lives of both people and birds? Ultimately, this article explores how these diverse colonisations might be understood and told responsibly in an era of escalating loss and extinction.
Snail trails: A foray into disappearing worlds, written in slime
For Animal Remains (an edited collection by Sarah Bezan and Robert McKay)
Hawai’i’s terrestrial snails are disappearing, and with them the complex lifeworlds of their kind. While the perceptual, social, and behavioural lives of most invertebrates are rarely given much attention by many of us, the slime trails that snails leave behind provide a particularly rich pathway into these places. This chapter is an effort to take these silvery remainders seriously. Structured around a narrative account of a visit to a snail exclosure—a fenced conservation area in the Waianae Mountains on the island of O’ahu—the chapter is a foray into the lives of snails, paying particular attention to the way in which their social and spatial worlds—their umwelten (after Uexküll)—are quite literally slimed into being. As Hawai’i’s snails face growing challenges to their continued survival, attending to slime may provide some fragile possibilities for ongoing life, opening up new avenues for both conservation and appreciation.
Voyaging with snails: Extinction stories from Hawai‘i
For Maritime Animals (an edited collection by Kaori Nagai)
The Hawaiian Islands were once home to one of the most diverse assemblages of terrestrial snails found anywhere on earth. Today, the majority of these species are thought to be extinct and most of those that remain are threatened. This chapter explores this context of loss, asking what it means and why it matters that so much of Hawai’i’s rich snail diversity is disappearing. It does so, however, through a focus on one very particular question: how did a global centre of terrestrial snail diversity end up out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean? Snails, after all, are not commonly known for their propensity to undertake long journeys—not by land, and certainly not by sea. So, how did they all get to this most remote oceanic archipelago? Equally as importantly at our present time, how might these ongoing extinctions be understood differently if we pay attention to snail voyages across vast oceans, both literal and temporal? What might this context help us to see, appreciate, and perhaps hold onto?