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The Geographies of extinction: Exploring the spatio-temporal relations of species death

Garlick, Ben ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7257-0430 and Symons, Kate (2019) The Geographies of extinction: Exploring the spatio-temporal relations of species death. Environmental Humanities, 12 (1). (In Press)

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Abstract

This is a paper about extinction, geography, and the geographies of extinction. The emerging field of extinction studies has brought a vibrant corpus of interdisciplinary scholarship that destabilises static notions of ‘species’; traces the spatiality of death and violence in conservation contexts; and raises important political and ethical questions regarding what and how forms of life are lost, saved and valued. Such work offers an unsettling counter to the biopolitical tendencies of contemporary conservation discourse and understandings of extinction in terms of final, singular death. Instead, extinction studies emphasises the contingent and situated character of life’s forms, and the processes by which these are, often slowly, severed and detached from place. Political ecology and geography bring an attention to the politics of extinction by proposing that we reckon head on with the destructive outcomes and processes, which have played out over the world history of capitalism, and seem to have reached a crisis point in what Jason Moore has termed ‘the Capitalocene’. In this paper, the authors draw upon research in diverse contexts – concerning the conservation of ospreys on Speyside, Scotland, and trans-border marine conservation in Mozambique –as a lens through which to demonstrate the multiple ways in which extinctions are ‘placed’. These are: firstly, an attention to geographical contingency of ‘wildlife’ under threat from extinction; secondly, the multiple, overlapping and discordant political and economic geographies of violence, death and attempted (necessarily partial) protections through which extinction unfolds; and thirdly, the geographies produced as a result of extinction, be they blasted, spectral or sites for life amidst ruins.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Issue due for publication May 2020
Status: In Press
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > B Philosophy (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GF Human ecology. Anthropogeography
G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > GN Anthropology
H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Q Science > QH Natural history
School/Department: School of Humanities
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/4129

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