- List of Contributors
- Introduction: A New Environmental History
- Beyond Weather: The Culture and Politics of Climate History
- Animals and the Intimacy of History
- Beyond Virgin Soils: Disease as Environmental History
- Seas of Grass: Grasslands in World Environmental History
- New Patterns in Old Places: Forest History for the Global Present
- The Tropics: A Brief History of an Environmental Imaginary
- And All Was Light?—Science and Environmental History
- Toward an Environmental History of Technology
- New Chemical Bodies: Synthetic Chemicals, Regulation, and Human Health
- Rethinking American Exceptionalism: Toward a Transnational History of National Parks, Wilderness, and Protected Areas
- Restoration and the Search for Counter-Narratives
- Region, Scenery, and Power: Cultural Landscapes in Environmental History
- A Metabolism of Society: Capitalism for Environmental Historians
- Owning Nature: Toward an Environmental History of Private Property
- Work, Nature, and History: A Single Question, that Once Moved Like Light
- The Nature of Desire: Consumption in Environmental History
- Law and the Environment
- Confluences of Nature and Culture: Cities in Environmental History
- Race and Ethnicity in Environmental History
- Women and Gender: Useful Categories of Analysis in Environmental History
- Conquest to Convalescence: Nature and Nation in United States History
- Boundless Nature: Borders and the Environment in North America and Beyond
- Crossing Boundaries: The Environment in International Relations
- The Politics of Nature
Abstract and Keywords
In 2005, Kenton Joel Carnegie, a geological engineering student, was attacked and killed by four wolves on a trail near a uranium mine in Saskatchewan. Carnegie’s kill site evokes the many tricky theoretical issues that arise when writing about nonhuman animals, and serves as a cruel reminder that humans are indeed animals. This chapter explores the principal lesson of writings on animals in environmental history, focusing on two broad themes: the intimacy of violence and the intimacy of transcendence. It considers environmental history’s preoccupation with the role of nature’s agency in driving history and cites Val Plumwood’s “death roll” with a crocodile in the wetlands of the Kakadu National Park in Australia as a reminder that animals possess real agency in the world of humans. It discusses colonialism and empire as a persuasive example of humans setting “conditions on life” through biological and cultural transcendence.
Brett L. Walker is Professor of History at Montana State University. He is the author of The Conquest of Ainu Lands: Ecology and Culture in Japanese Expansion, 1590–1800 (2001); The Lost Wolves of Japan (2005); and Toxic Archipelago: A History of Industrial Disease in Japan (2010), which won the George Perkins Marsh Prize from the American Society for Environmental History.
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