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Academic & Professional Books  Conservation & Biodiversity  Conservation & Biodiversity: General

Extinction Studies Stories of Time, Death, and Generations

By: Deborah Bird Rose(Editor), Thom van Dooren(Editor), Matthew Chrulew(Editor), Cary Wolfe(Foreword By), Vinciane Despret(Afterword by)
238 pages, b/w illustrations
Extinction Studies
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  • Extinction Studies ISBN: 9780231178815 Paperback Nov 2017 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 6 days
  • Extinction Studies ISBN: 9780231178808 Hardback no dustjacket Jun 2017 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 6 days
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About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

Extinction Studies focuses on the entangled ecological and social dimensions of extinction, exploring the ways in which extinction catastrophically interrupts life-giving processes of time, death, and generations. Extinction Studies opens up important philosophical questions about our place in, and obligations to, a more-than-human world. Drawing on fieldwork, philosophy, literature, history, and a range of other perspectives, each of the chapters in Extinction Studies tells a unique extinction story that explores what extinction is, what it means, why it matters – and to whom.


Foreword, by Cary Wolfe
Introduction: Telling Extinction Stories, by Deborah Bird Rose, Thom van Dooren, and Matthew Chrulew"

1. Walking with Okami, the Large-Mouthed Pure God, by James Hatley
2. Saving the Golden Lion Tamarin, by Matthew Chrulew
3. Extinction in a Distant Land: The Question of Elliot's Bird of Paradise, by Rick De Vos
4. Monk Seals at the Edge: Blessings in a Time of Peril, by Deborah Bird Rose
5. Encountering Leatherbacks in Multispecies Knots of Time, by Michelle Bastian
6. Spectral Crows in Hawai'i: Conservation and the Work of Inheritance, by Thom van Dooren

Afterword: It Is an Entire World That Has Disappeared, by Vinciane Despret

Customer Reviews


Deborah B. Rose is adjunct professor of environmental humanities at the University of New South Wales. Thom van Dooren is associate professor of environmental humanities at the University of New South Wales. Matthew Chrulew is a research fellow at Curtin University.

By: Deborah Bird Rose(Editor), Thom van Dooren(Editor), Matthew Chrulew(Editor), Cary Wolfe(Foreword By), Vinciane Despret(Afterword by)
238 pages, b/w illustrations
Media reviews

"Extinction Studies collects haunting and haunted multivoiced stories which echo together in a vibrant plea for an ethic of care, lucidity, and obstinate, stammering hope. We need such stories to make us feel and think with the unraveling of a world we inherit and share together with innumerable entangled forms and ways of life. We need them also to repopulate our devastated imaginations and to help us escape the twin easy temptations of nihilist despair and blind confidence."
– Isabelle Stengers, author of Cosmopolitics

"This extraordinary collection addresses one of the most sobering aspects of the current environmental crisis. The contributing scholars represent a range of disciplines, but rather than adhering to academic convention, they have all used narrative as the vehicle for their historical, ethnographic, zoological, meditative, and poetic insights. The result is both personal and scholarly, both illuminating and a pleasure to read."
– Harriet Ritvo, Arthur J. Conner Professor of History, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

"Extinction Studies makes an important contribution to human-animal studies and the environmental humanities as the volume explores what extinctions and recoveries of endangered animal species mean in different cultural contexts. These perceptive and wide-ranging essays focus on the narrative and philosophical frameworks that turn the ecological reduction of bioabundance and biodiversity into sources of reflection about human and more-than-human ways of life as they unfold across generations and evolutionary ages. These analyses and meditations acknowledge both that animals can never be fully assimilated to human understanding, and that human stories play a crucial role in shaping the bonds with animals that take multispecies communities into a future of danger, but also of hope and exuberance."
– Ursula K. Heise, Marcia H. Howard Chair in Literary Studies, University of California, Los Angeles

"Human-caused extinction challenges our own survival – but also our compassion and our ability to tell stories adequate to shifting configurations of us and them. This volume gathers seven fine storytellers who show us what it means to lose or save another animal species in an era of rapid extinctions. These are tales of passion, time, conflict, learning, slaughter, imprisonment, and prayer. Drawing upon their common membership in an interdisciplinary and international working group on extinction studies, the authors show the potential of the environmental humanities to address one of the major crises of our moment in history."
– Anna Tsing, University of California, Santa Cruz

"The studies contained in this volume cross species and kingdom boundaries, and are full of hope just as much as grief and mourning. In bearing witness to the lives of species that are functionally and/or already extinct, the authors present multiple modes of response and responsibility for those of us who remain."
– Brett Buchanan, associate professor of philosophy and director of the School of the Environment at Laurentian University

"This book will interest those individuals who wish to deeply ponder the topic of extinction and its meaning and ramifications."

"The overall concept of [this book], to focus on social and philosophical aspects of species extinctions, represents an interesting and fresh perspective on the extinction phenomenon."
The Quarterly Review of Biology

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