226 episodes

Interviews with Environmental Scientists about their New Books

New Books in Environmental Studies New Books Network

    • Natural Sciences

Interviews with Environmental Scientists about their New Books

    Anna M. Gade, “Muslim Environmentalisms: Religious and Social Foundations” (Columbia UP, 2019)

    Anna M. Gade, “Muslim Environmentalisms: Religious and Social Foundations” (Columbia UP, 2019)

    The relationship between Islam and the environment has a long and rich history across various Muslim societies. Anna M. Gade, Professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, outlines several strains where these domains intersect in her book Muslim Environmentalisms: Religious and Social Foundations (Columbia University Press, 2019). Gade takes the reader through a number of literary and scriptural sources that Muslims have deployed over history but also steeps her analysis in decades of on the ground ethnographic fieldwork, especially in Southeast Asia. Specific examples reveal the interplay between local, regional, and global contexts as interpretive positions shift and realign across each theme. This combination creates a productive template for rethinking Muslim environmentalism within the larger framework of the Environmental Humanities. In our conversation we discussed Qur’anic theological resources and themes, environmentalism and development work, legal and ethical contexts, ideals of environmental justice, Muslim humanistic traditions, eco-sufism, devotional rituals and popular piety, ethnographic video materials for course use, and green Islam in Indonesia.
    Kristian Petersen is an Assistant Professor of Philosophy & Religious Studies at Old Dominion University. He is the author of Interpreting Islam in China: Pilgrimage, Scripture, and Language in the Han Kitab (Oxford University Press, 2017). He is currently working on a monograph entitled The Cinematic Lives of Muslims, and is the editor of the forthcoming volumes Muslims in the Movies: A Global Anthology (ILEX Foundation) and New Approaches to Islam in Film (Routledge). You can find out more about his work on his website, follow him on Twitter @BabaKristian, or email him at kpeterse@odu.edu.
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    • 55 min
    Astrid M. Eckert, "West Germany and the Iron Curtain: Environment, Economy, and Culture in the Borderlands" (Oxford UP, 2019)

    Astrid M. Eckert, "West Germany and the Iron Curtain: Environment, Economy, and Culture in the Borderlands" (Oxford UP, 2019)

    How did the Iron Curtain shape the Federal Republic of Germany? How did the internal border become a proving ground for rival ideologies? West Germany and the Iron Curtain: Environment, Economy, and Culture in the Borderlands (Oxford University Press 2019) explores these battles in the most sensitive geographic spaces of the Federal Republic. Join us for a conversation with Astrid M. Eckert illuminating how the border reflected Cold War debates back to society in ways that continue to shape German history. In a fascinating exploration of economic dislocation, border tourism, and the first environmental history of the wall, Eckert shows how borders become actors in their own right.
    Astrid M. Eckert is an Associate Professor of History at Emory University in Atlanta where she teaches 19th- and 20th-century German and European history. Her research has contributed to the Historical Commission on the History of the German Foreign Office, while her book on The Struggle for the Files: The Western Allies and the Return of German Archives after the Second World War received the Waldo Gifford Leland Award. You can listen to an interview with Eckert about The Struggle for the Files here.
    Ryan Stackhouse is a historian of Europe specializing in modern Germany and political policing under dictatorship. His forthcoming book Enemies of the People: Hitler's Critics and the Gestapo explores enforcement practices toward different social groups under Nazism. He also cohosts the Third Reich History Podcast and can be reached at john.ryan.stackhouse@gmail.com or @Staxomatix.
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    • 1 hr 3 min
    J. L. Anderson, "Capitalist Pigs: Pigs, Pork, and Power in America" (West Virginia UP, 2019)

    J. L. Anderson, "Capitalist Pigs: Pigs, Pork, and Power in America" (West Virginia UP, 2019)

    In this this interview, Dr. Carrie Tippen talks with J. L. Anderson about the 2019 book Capitalist Pigs: Pigs, Pork, and Power in America published by West Virginia University Press. Anderson provides a history of pigs in America from the first arrival on the continent in the Columbian Exchange to the modern agribusiness of pork production, describing how we have “remade” the animal through breeding, feeding, medicating, legislating, and housing hogs. Despite the contemporary association between pork and the American South, Anderson describes how the centers of pork production and consumption have moved throughout American history in response to market changes, technological innovations, and transportation networks. The diet and housing of pigs has also evolved over time from seasonal free-range foraging in wooded areas (or even urban streets) to living in climate-controlled concrete pens and a non-seasonal diet. Similarly, Anderson describes how the place of pork in the hierarchy of edible meats changes over time. Colonial Americans largely adopted the English meat hierarchy of beef, mutton, and pork, with pork reserved for the working class and enslaved people. Though pork has replaced mutton in popularity, pork has always maintained its reputation as working people’s food. The later chapters of Capitalist Pigs argue that 20th-century Americans’ fear of fat resulted in a dramatic change in the body shape and biological make-up of the modern hog to invent a leaner “white meat.” Ironically, while the industry provided what it thought the market wanted, consumers didn’t change their pork eating habits that much, as the leaner pork was generally a much less desirable product. Trimming the fat from pork has led to the unexpected desirability of fattier cuts like bacon and pork belly in fine dining and the resurgence in “heritage breeds” of pigs with higher fat content. Anderson concludes by discouraging historians from interpreting the story of hogs in America as a success story of “transcending limits” in science, agriculture, and economics. “In short,” Anderson writes, “the success of pigs, pork, producers, and processors is not the whole story.”
    Joe Anderson is Associate Dean of Research, Scholarship and Community Engagement and history professor at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. Dr. Anderson teaches a variety of courses from food and diet to the American Civil War and Reconstruction. Joe’s professional experience as a museum educator and administrator has led to a continuing interest in public history, and his recent projects have focused on the history of rural America, particularly as it relates to technology and the environment in the midcontinent. Joe is the past president of the Agricultural History Society and a member of the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada.
    Carrie Helms Tippen is Assistant Professor of English at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA, where she teaches courses in American Literature. Her 2018 book, Inventing Authenticity: How Cookbook Writers Redefine Southern Identity (University of Arkansas Press), examines the rhetorical strategies that writers use to prove the authenticity of their recipes in the narrative headnotes of contemporary cookbooks. Her academic work has been published in Gastronomica, Food and Foodways, American Studies, Southern Quarterly, and Food, Culture, and Society.
     
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    • 58 min
    Josh Reno, "Military Waste: The Unexpected Consequences of Permanent War Readiness" (U California Press, 2019)

    Josh Reno, "Military Waste: The Unexpected Consequences of Permanent War Readiness" (U California Press, 2019)

    Seven decades of military spending during the cold war and war on terror have created a vast excess of military hardware – what happens to all of this military waste when it has served its purpose and what does it tell us about militarism in American culture? Josh Reno’s Military Waste: The Unexpected Consequences of Permanent War Readiness (University of California Press, 2019), explores the myriad afterlives of military waste and the people who witness, interpret, manipulate, and reimagine them.
    In this episode of New Books in Anthropology, he talks to host Jacob Doherty about how engineers within the military industrial complex conceptualize waste, how artists try to demilitarize surplus air force planes, how near earth orbit has filled up with the debris, and how militarized culture shapes the way we understand mass shootings.
    Josh Reno is an associate professor of anthropology at Binghampton University and the author of Waste Away.
    Jacob Doherty is a lecturer in the anthropology of development at the University of Edinburgh.
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    • 1 hr 17 min
    Alice Hill, "Building a Resilient Tomorrow: How to Prepare for the Coming Climate Disruption" (Oxford UP, 2019)

    Alice Hill, "Building a Resilient Tomorrow: How to Prepare for the Coming Climate Disruption" (Oxford UP, 2019)

    Climate change impacts-more heat, drought, extreme rainfall, and stronger storms-have already harmed communities around the globe. Even if the world could cut its carbon emissions to zero tomorrow, further significant global climate change is now inevitable. Although we cannot tell with certainty how much average global temperatures will rise, we do know that the warming we have experienced to date has caused significant losses, and that the failure to prepare for the consequences of further warming may prove to be staggering.
    Building a Resilient Tomorrow: How to Prepare for the Coming Climate Disruption (Oxford University Press, 2019), edited by Alice C. Hill and Leonardo Martinez-Diaz, does not dwell on overhyped descriptions of apocalyptic climate scenarios, nor does it travel down well-trodden paths surrounding the politics of reducing carbon emissions. Instead, it starts with two central facts: climate impacts will continue to occur, and we can make changes now to mitigate their effects. While squarely confronting the scale of the risks we face, this pragmatic guide focuses on solutions-some gradual and some more revolutionary-currently being deployed around the globe. Each chapter presents a thematic lesson for decision-makers and engaged citizens to consider, outlining replicable successes and identifying provocative recommendations to strengthen climate resilience.
    Between animated discussions of ideas as wide-ranging as managed retreat from coastal hot-zones to biological approaches for resurgent climate-related disease threats, Hill and Martinez-Diaz draw on their personal experiences as senior officials in the Obama Administration to tell behind-the-scenes stories of what it really takes to advance progress on these issues. The narrative is dotted with tales of on-the-ground citizenry, from small-town mayors and bankers to generals and engineers, who are chipping away at financial disincentives and bureaucratic hurdles to prepare for life on a warmer planet. For readers exhausted by today's paralyzing debates on yearly "fluke" storms or the existence of climate change, Building a Resilient Tomorrow offers better ways to manage the risks in a warming planet, even as we work to limit global temperature rise.
    Beth Windisch is a national security practitioner. You can tweet her @bethwindisch.
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    • 44 min
    Lydia Barnett, "After the Flood: Imagining the Global Environment in Early Modern Europe" (Johns Hopkins UP, 2019)

    Lydia Barnett, "After the Flood: Imagining the Global Environment in Early Modern Europe" (Johns Hopkins UP, 2019)

    Many centuries before the emergence of the scientific consensus on climate change, people began to imagine the existence of a global environment: a natural system capable of changing humans and of being changed by them. In After the Flood: Imagining the Global Environment in Early Modern Europe (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2019), Lydia Barnett traces the history of this idea back to the early modern period, when the Scientific Revolution, the Reformations, the Little Ice Age, and the overseas expansion of European empire, religion, and commerce gave rise to new ideas about nature and humanity, and their intersecting histories.
    Recovering a forgotten episode in the history of environmental thought, Barnett brings to light the crucial role of religious faith and conflict in fostering new ways of thinking about the capacity of humans and nature to change each other on a planetary scale. In the hands of Protestant and Catholic writers from across Europe and its American colonies, the biblical story of Noah's Flood became a vehicle for imagining the power of sin to wreck the world, the dangers of overpopulation, the transformative effects of shifting landforms on the course of human history, and the impact of a changing climate on human bodies, health, and lives.
    Following Noah's Flood as a popular topic of debate through long-distance networks of knowledge from the late sixteenth through the early eighteenth centuries, Barnett reveals how early modern earth and environmental sciences were shaped by gender, evangelism, empire, race, and nation. After the Flood illuminates the hidden role and complicated legacy of religion in the emergence of a global environmental consciousness.
    Interviewed by Lukas Rieppel. Visit my personal website here, or find me on twitter here.
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    • 44 min

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