• Emergent Ecologies

    Author(s):
    Pages: 312
    Illustrations: 72 illustrations
    Sales/Territorial Rights: World
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    978-0-8223-6017-9
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    978-0-8223-6035-3
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  • Introduction  1

    1. Parallax  8

    2. Ontological Amphibians  17

    3. Hope in the Reverted Zone  36

    4. Happiness and Glass  52

    5. Bubbles  72

    6. Xenoecologies  86

    7. Becoming Wild  105

    8. Multispecies Families  134

    9. Parasites of Capitalism  163

    10. Possible Futures  190

    Conclusion  217

    Acknowledgments  221

    Notes  227

    Bibliography  269

    Index  291
  • "Amid widespread environmental destruction, with radical changes taking place in ecosystems throughout the Americas, where can we find hope? Emergent Ecologies takes readers on an adventure through the Americas stopping over in ecosystems, laboratories, art exhibits, forests, and more in Panama, New York, Maine, Florida, Costa Rica to tell a story about the practices of worldmaking by ants, frogs, fungi, and other ontological amphibians. This is an exuberant and sensitively-written multispecies ethnography that is also a pleasure to read."

    "With an activist’s ardor, Kirksey urges us to acknowledge that ecology’s current emphasis on preservation is futile. Our desire to conserve ecosystems, he insists, will be constantly thwarted. Instead, he argues for an active and pragmatic project of future making. For Kirksey, the project is urgent. It must begin now."

    "More than ever before, fear drives the modern world. This book makes for a modern, sometimes terrifying, and a somewhat deep read. It is recommended for those interested in the 'new world' and its history. Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above; faculty and professionals."

    Reviews

  • "Amid widespread environmental destruction, with radical changes taking place in ecosystems throughout the Americas, where can we find hope? Emergent Ecologies takes readers on an adventure through the Americas stopping over in ecosystems, laboratories, art exhibits, forests, and more in Panama, New York, Maine, Florida, Costa Rica to tell a story about the practices of worldmaking by ants, frogs, fungi, and other ontological amphibians. This is an exuberant and sensitively-written multispecies ethnography that is also a pleasure to read."

    "With an activist’s ardor, Kirksey urges us to acknowledge that ecology’s current emphasis on preservation is futile. Our desire to conserve ecosystems, he insists, will be constantly thwarted. Instead, he argues for an active and pragmatic project of future making. For Kirksey, the project is urgent. It must begin now."

    "More than ever before, fear drives the modern world. This book makes for a modern, sometimes terrifying, and a somewhat deep read. It is recommended for those interested in the 'new world' and its history. Recommended. Upper-division undergraduates and above; faculty and professionals."

  • "A work of great sophistication, Emergent Ecologies is a great read. It is movingly written, methodologically innovative, and provides an intellectually rich account of an important and timely subject that will inspire, entertain, and challenge."  — Sarah Franklin, author of, Biological Relatives: IVF, Stem Cells, and the Future of Kinship

    "A praise song for the possibilities of bricolage, Emergent Ecologies is a postmodern natural history in which displaced ants, macaques, frogs, and flies tumble with philosophy, performance art, science, and adventure story.  Eben Kirksey takes us on a wild ride through a funhouse of risky and ironic entanglements."  — Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, author of, The Mushroom at the End of the World: On the Possibility of Life in Capitalist Ruins

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  • Description

    In an era of global warming, natural disasters, endangered species, and devastating pollution, contemporary writing on the environment largely focuses on doomsday scenarios. Eben Kirksey suggests we reject such apocalyptic thinking and instead find possibilities in the wreckage of ongoing disasters, as symbiotic associations of opportunistic plants, animals, and microbes are flourishing in unexpected places. Emergent Ecologies uses artwork and contemporary philosophy to illustrate hopeful opportunities and reframe key problems in conservation biology such as invasive species, extinction, environmental management, and reforestation. Following the flight of capital and nomadic forms of life—through fragmented landscapes of Panama, Costa Rica, and the United States—Kirksey explores how chance encounters, historical accidents, and parasitic invasions have shaped present and future multispecies communities. New generations of thinkers and tinkerers are learning how to care for emergent ecological assemblages—involving frogs, fungal pathogens, ants, monkeys, people, and plants—by seeding them, nurturing them, protecting them, and ultimately letting go.
     

    About The Author(s)

    Eben Kirksey is a permanent faculty member in Environmental Humanities at UNSW Australia and a Visiting Research Scholar at The Graduate Center, City University of New York. He is the editor of The Multispecies Salon and the author of Freedom in Entangled Worlds: West Papua and the Architecture of Global Power, both also published by Duke University Press.
     
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