Environments, Technologies, Spaces, and Places in the Twenty-first Century
Paper 282 pp.
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Environmentalism and social sciences appear to be in a period of disorientation and perhaps transition. In this innovative collection, leading international thinkers explore the notion that one explanation for the current malaise of the “politics of ecology” is that we increasingly find ourselves negotiating “technonatural” space/times. International contributors map the political ecologies of our technonatural present and indicate possible paths for technonatural futures.
The term “technonatures” is in debt to a long line of environmental cultural theory from Raymond Williams onwards, problematizing the idea that a politics of the environment can be usefully grounded in terms of the rhetoric of defending the pure, the authentic, or an idealized past solely in terms of the ecological or the natural. In using the term “technonatures” as an organizing myth and metaphor for thinking about the politics of nature in contemporary times, this collection seeks to explore one increasingly pronounced dimension of the social natures discussion. Technonatures highlights a growing range of voices considering the claim that we are not only inhabiting diverse social natures but that within such natures our knowledge of our worlds is ever more technologically mediated, produced, enacted, and contested.
Damian F. White is an assistant professor of sociology in the Department of History, Philosophy, and Social Science at the Rhode Island School of Design. He has held academic posts previously at James Madison University and Goldsmith College University of London. He has published articles on the historical relations between human societies and nature, the green industrial revolution, the “production of nature” debate, the libertarian traditions of the political left, and the public understanding of science. He is the author of Murray Bookchin: A Critical Appraisal (2008) and, with Chris Wilbert, The Colin Ward Reader (forthcoming, 2009).
Chris Wilbert is a senior lecturer in tourism and geography at Anglia Ruskin University, England. He has published on animal geographies with Chris Philo (Animal Spaces, Beastly Places, 2000) and with Jennifer Wolch and Jody Emel. More recently he has written on the politics of avian flu, cultural and media aspects of tourism, and environmentalism. He is currently on the editorial board of Society & Animals and Radical Philosophy.
“This anthology probes the changing relationships between society and the natural environment. It examines the popular sense that environmentalists have lost their way. How have they failed to appeal to broad publics? Why have public perceptions of environmental risk and climate change not been translated into political will? Technonatures shows the different ways that nature increasingly reflects human interventionsfrom medical innovations to agricultural and conservation practice to the continental scale of the impacts of human-introduced pests. This is a book that offers lucid insights and will appeal to a broad audience.”
— Rob Shields, Henry Marshall Tory Research Chair, Departments of Sociology and Art and Design, University of Alberta. He is the founding editor of Space and Culture.
“Environmental sociologists and geographers will find this book entertaining and enlightening as well as sugggestive of new ways of looking at the environment.”
— A.A. Hickey, Western Carolina University, CHOICE