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Good Reads  Marine & Freshwater Biology  Fishes  Sharks & Rays

Iridescent Skin A Multispecies Journey of White sharks and Caged Humans

By: Raj Sekhar Aich(Author)
492 pages
Publisher: Niyogi Books
Iridescent Skin
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  • Iridescent Skin ISBN: 9789391125530 Hardback Feb 2022 Not in stock: Usually dispatched within 1-2 months
Price: £105.00
About this book Contents Customer reviews Biography Related titles

About this book

Iridescent Skin is the first of its kind multispecies ethnography on humans and white sharks, entangled through the practice of cage diving at the very end of New Zealand. It is based on the immersive fieldwork of marine anthropologist Prof. Raj Sekhar Aich, and his friend, research assistant, and anthropologist Soosan Lucas, as they search for the elusive and mystified Great White Sharks of Foveaux Strait.

This is not a ‘shark book’, although it revolves around sharks in the classical sense of the manner. It is also not merely an academic book, although it is based on detailed academic investigation. Neither is it an exploration of shark behaviour or ecology, although they are certainly part of it, and no, it is not even a book about shark attacks, although shark bites are featured here. It is, on the surface, a sensory narrative of human and white shark encounters, but beneath the ripples, it is a story of love: among humans, rivers, oceans, bricks, stones, and sharks.

As Professor Agustín Fuentes puts it, the book "invites the reader along [...] at the intersection of two sentient species, humans and white sharks. [...] The book you hold in your hands is an enticement into the experiential journey of a scholar, artist and narrator who starts out with the goal of appreciating or assessing a multispecies entanglement but ends up traversing a tangle of personal, social, historical, ecological, and perceptual water/land/species-scapes. [...] This is an immersive multispecies anthropology."



I. Abhishar: The Assignation
1. Underneath the Southern Isle
2. The trampoline cat
3. Allegory of the cage
4. Social science of a big, biting fish
5. Alexander and the sharks
6. the Southernmost cage diving in the world
7. Rough and Tough, they come from bluff
8. Uncertain hypnogogic liminality

II. Apeksha : The Wait
9. Shark net
10. Reverie
11. Suicide vest
12. View from the cage top
13. The diving of cage diving
14. Furniture of whale vertebra
15. The Vikings are coming
16. Turbulent waters
17. Multispecies conflict
18. The shark with the pink sunglasses
19. The Abyssal tourist of Foveaux
20. Absence of the sharks
21. The silence of the sharks
22. The cottage and unexpected company
23. The care package with a Bourbon Cigar

III. Milan: The Meet
24. A Meeting after a hundred million years of waiting
25. The lovers
26. Demystifying the monster
27. How else will you see Swedish girls in bluff
28. Marshmallows from the sea
29. Rocky, the excited shark
30. Babu Ghat
31. The rhododendron forest and the deserted meat factory
32. Memories flicker
33. Making sense of it all
34. The promise of springsteen

The documentary

Customer Reviews


Raj Sekhar Aich, with PhDs in marine anthropology and applied psychology, has been recently awarded a professorship at the Sister Nivedita University. His research focus is on the holistic study of cultural- and natural scapes shaped by physical and symbolic interactions of humans with the marine environment and life forms. He has conducted the first-ever white shark cage diving ethnographical research (New Zealand), and the first academic investigation of the Sundarban shark attacks (India). He looks towards further contributing to transdisciplinary research, marine social sciences, and anthrozoology through his work.

By: Raj Sekhar Aich(Author)
492 pages
Publisher: Niyogi Books
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