Elephants rarely breed in captivity and are not considered domesticated, yet they interact with people regularly and adapt to various environments. Too social and sagacious to be objects, too strange to be human, too captive to truly be wild, but too wild to be domesticated – where do elephants fall in our understanding of nature?
In Wildlife in the Anthropocene, Jamie Lorimer argues that the idea of nature as a pure and timeless place characterized by the absence of humans has come to an end. But life goes on. Wildlife inhabits everywhere and is on the move; Lorimer proposes the concept of wildlife as a replacement for nature. Offering a thorough appraisal of the Anthropocene – an era in which human actions affect and influence all life and all systems on our planet – Lorimer unpacks its implications for changing definitions of nature and the politics of wildlife conservation. Wildlife in the Anthropocene examines rewilding, the impacts of wildlife films, human relationships with charismatic species, and urban wildlife. Analyzing scientific papers, policy documents, and popular media, as well as a decade of fieldwork, Lorimer explores the new interconnections between science, politics, and neoliberal capitalism that the Anthropocene demands of wildlife conservation.
Imagining conservation in a world where humans are geological actors entangled within and responsible for powerful, unstable, and unpredictable planetary forces, Wildlife in the Anthropocene nurtures a future environmentalism that is more hopeful and democratic.
"Against all-too-human accounts of the Anthropocene, Jamie Lorimer envisions a dynamic cosmopolitics for wildlife. He demonstrates how species ‘conservation’ can somehow proceed as neither mastery nor naturalism but, instead, as necessary experiments in interspecies responsibility."
– Stacy Alaimo, author of Bodily Natures: Science, Environment, and the Material Self
Introduction: After the Anthropocene
1. Wildlife: Companion Elephants and New Grounds for Multinatural Conservation
2. Nonhuman Charisma: Counting Corncrakes and Learning to Be Affected in Multispecies Worlds
3. Biodiversity as Biopolitics: Cutting Up Wildlife and Choreographing Conservation in the United Kingdom
4. Conservation as Composition: Securing Premodern Ecologies in the Hebrides
5. Wild Experiments: Rewilding Future Ecologies at the Oostvaardersplassen
6. Wildlife on Screen: The Affective Logics and Micropolitics of Elephant Imagery
7. Bringing Wildlife to Market: Flagship Species, Lively Capital, and the Commodification of Interspecies Encounters
8. Spaces for Wildlife: Alternative Topologies for Life in Novel Ecosystems
Conclusion: Cosmopolitics for Wildlife
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Jamie Lorimer is associate professor of geography and the environment at Oxford University.