Today's celebrity conservationists, many of whom made their reputations through television and other visual media, play a major role in drawing public attention to an increasingly threatened world. Nature's Saviours, one of the first to address this contribution, focuses on five key figures: the English naturalist David Attenborough, the French marine adventurer Jacques-Yves Cousteau, the American primatologist Dian Fossey, the Canadian scientist-broadcaster-activist David Suzuki, and the Australian 'crocodile hunter' Steve Irwin.
Some of the issues the author addresses include: What is the changing relationship between western conservation and celebrity? How has the spread of television helped shape and mediate this relationship? To what extent can celebrity conservation be seen as part of a global system in which conservation, like celebrity, is big business? Nature's Saviours critically examines the heroic status accorded to the five figures mentioned above, taking in the various discourses – around nature, science, nation, gender – through which they and their work have been presented to us. In doing so, Nature's Saviours fills in the cultural, historical and ideological background behind contemporary celebrity conservationism as a popular expression of a chronically endangered world.
2. A is for Attenborough
3. Lives Aquatic: Underwater with the Cousteaus
4. Requiem for Dian: Myth, Memory, Mediation
5. Suzuki: The Scientist as Moralist
6. Crocodile Tears: The Life and Death of Steve Irwin
Graham Huggan is Professor of Commonwealth and Postcolonial Literatures at the University of Leeds, UK. His research spans the entire field of comparative postcolonial literary/cultural studies, with further interests in the areas of ecocriticism, travel writing, short fiction, and film.