The notion of Endangerment stands at the heart of a network of concepts, values and practices dealing with objects and beings considered threatened by extinction, and with the procedures aimed at preserving them. Usually animated by a sense of urgency and citizenship, identifying endangered entities involves evaluating an impending threat and opens the way for preservation strategies. Endangerment, Biodiversity and Culture looks at some of the fundamental ways in which this process involves science, but also more than science: not only data and knowledge and institutions, but also affects and values.
Focusing on an "endangerment sensibility", it encapsulates tensions between the normative and the utilitarian, the natural and the cultural. The chapters situate that specifically modern sensibility in historical perspective, and examine central aspects of its recent and present forms. This timely volume offers the most cutting-edge insights into the Environmental Humanities for researchers working in Environmental Studies, History, Anthropology, Sociology and Science and Technology Studies.
"There are thousands of endangered species and hundreds of human cultures facing extinction along with the languages they have spoken. This fascinating book takes the reader along to delve into the reasons we are losing diversity and the many kinds of knowledge it could give us. How has politics made endangerment worse, or tried to prevent it? The wise authors of these chapters find examples from around the world and look at ways to preserve and revive what we might otherwise lose. This book raises interesting questions and is a dependable key to understanding."
– J. Donald Hughes, University of Denver, USA
"In this era of rapidly accelerating climate change, species extinction, and cultural vulnerability, endangerment has come to shape the science, politics, and emotions mobilized to archive and defend the fatally condemned. Endangerment, Biodiversity, and Culture is a timely volume that makes visible the undercurrent of loss animating work across the human and life sciences."
– Gregg Mitman, University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA
Introduction: The Endangerment Sensibility Fernando Vidal and Nelia Dias
Part 1: Affects and Values
1. "Languages Die Like Rivers:" Entangled Endangerments in the Colorado Delta Shaylih Muehlmann
2. Extinction, Diversity, and Endangerment David Sepkoski
3. Anthropological Data in Danger, c. 1941-1965 Rebecca Lemov
Part 2: Situated Politics
4. Conserving the Future: UNESCO Biosphere Reserves as Laboratories for Sustainable Development Stefan Bargheer
5. Indigenous Evanescence and Salvage in the Conquest of Araucania, 1850-1930 Stefanie Ganger
6. Tropical Forests in Brazilian Political Culture: From Economic Hindrance to Ecological Treasure Jose Augusto Padua
Part 3 Technologies of Preservation
7. Endangered Birds and Epistemic Concerns: The California Condor Etienne Benson
8. World Heritage Listing and the Globalization of the Endangerment Sensibility Rodney Harrison
9. Planning for the Past: Cryopreservation at the Farm, Zoo, and Museum Joanna Radin Coda Who is the "We" Endangered by Climate Change? Julia Adeney Thomas
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Fernando Vidal is ICREA Research Professor (Catalan Institution for Research and Advanced Studies) at the Center for the History of Science of the Autonomous University of Barcelona, Spain.
Nélia Dias is Associate Professor at the Department of Anthropology, University Institute of Lisbon (ISCTE-IUL), Portugal.