906 episodes

Interviews with Environmental Scientists about their New Books
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New Books in Environmental Studies Marshall Poe

    • Science
    • 4.4 • 19 Ratings

Interviews with Environmental Scientists about their New Books
Support our show by becoming a premium member! https://newbooksnetwork.supportingcast.fm/environmental-studies

    Elsa Devienne, "Sand Rush: The Revival of the Beach in Twentieth-Century Los Angeles" (Oxford UP, 2024)

    Elsa Devienne, "Sand Rush: The Revival of the Beach in Twentieth-Century Los Angeles" (Oxford UP, 2024)

    The Los Angeles shoreline is one of the most iconic natural landscapes in the United States, if not the world. The vast shores of Santa Monica, Venice, and Malibu are familiar sights to film and television audiences, conveying images of pristine sand, carefree fun, and glamorous physiques. Yet, in the early twentieth century Angelenos routinely lamented the city's crowded, polluted, and eroded sands, many of which were private and thus inaccessible to the public.
    Between the 1920s and the 1960s, LA's engineers, city officials, urban planners, and business elite worked together to transform the relatively untouched beaches into modern playgrounds for the white middle class. They cleaned up and enlarged the beaches--up to three times their original size--and destroyed old piers and barracks to make room for brand-new accommodations, parking lots, and freeways. The members of this powerful "beach lobby" reinvented the beach experience for the suburban age, effectively preventing a much-feared "white flight" from the coast. In doing so, they established Southern California as the national reference point for shoreline planning and coastal access. As they opened up vast public spaces for many Angelenos to express themselves, show off their bodies, and forge alternative communities, they made clear that certain groups of beachgoers, including African Americans, gay men and women, and bodybuilders, were no longer welcome. Despite their artificial origins, LA's beaches have proved remarkably resilient. The drastic human interventions into nature brought social and economic benefits to the region without long-term detrimental consequences on the environment. Yet the ongoing climate crisis and rapid sea level rise will eventually force the city to reckon with its past building.
    Sand Rush: The Revival of the Beach in Twentieth-Century Los Angeles (Oxford UP, 2024) not only uncovers how the Los Angeles coastline was constructed but also how this major planning and engineering project affected the lives of ordinary city-dwellers and attracted many Americans to move to Southern California. Featuring a foreword by Jenny Price, it recounts the formidable beach modernization campaign that transformed Los Angeles into one of the world's greatest coastal metropolises.
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    • 42 min
    Siobhan Angus, "Camera Geologica: An Elemental History of Photography" (Duke UP, 2024)

    Siobhan Angus, "Camera Geologica: An Elemental History of Photography" (Duke UP, 2024)

    In Camera Geologica: An Elemental History of Photography (Duke UP, 2024) Siobhan Angus tells the history of photography through the minerals upon which the medium depends. Challenging the emphasis on immateriality in discourses on photography, Angus focuses on the inextricable links between image-making and resource extraction, revealing how the mining of bitumen, silver, platinum, iron, uranium, and rare earth elements is a precondition of photography. Through a materials-driven analysis of visual culture, she illustrates histories of colonization, labor, and environmental degradation to expose the ways in which photography is enmeshed within and enables global extractive capitalism. 
    This conversation discusses the meta-narrative and performative aspects of some of the photographs shown in the text, dives into some of the stories and examples from Ann Atkin's cyanotypes of the 1800s to Warren Cariou's contemporary bitumin prints, and asks what ethical photography looks like given the resource extraction required. 
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    • 51 min
    Johanna Oksala, "Feminism, Capitalism, and Ecology" (Northwestern UP, 2023)

    Johanna Oksala, "Feminism, Capitalism, and Ecology" (Northwestern UP, 2023)

    Can capitalism be made ecologically sustainable? Can it be good for women? What theoretical approaches help us to grapple with these questions in ways that offer us strategies for how to proceed? Have we already become lost in some sort of gender essentialism to ask these questions together? 
    In Feminism, Capitalism, and Ecology (Northwestern University Press, 2023), Johanna Oksala brings the resources of ecofeminism and Marxist feminism to these questions, arguing that capitalism cannot be made sustainable, nor can it do without the expropriation of bodies that produce new laborers and consumers. By attending to the rise of biocapitalism, Oksala further develops analytic resources for diagnosing the fundamental problems of an economic system predicated on profit, consumer choice, and endless growth. She also gives us theoretical tools for discerning strategies that will help us create a world beyond capitalism.
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    • 1 hr 22 min
    John Soluri, "Banana Cultures: Agriculture, Consumption, and Environmental Change in Honduras and the United States" (U Texas Press, 2021)

    John Soluri, "Banana Cultures: Agriculture, Consumption, and Environmental Change in Honduras and the United States" (U Texas Press, 2021)

    Bananas, the most frequently consumed fresh fruit in the United States, have been linked to Miss Chiquita and Carmen Miranda, "banana republics," and Banana Republic clothing stores—everything from exotic kitsch, to Third World dictatorships, to middle-class fashion. But how did the rise in banana consumption in the United States affect the banana-growing regions of Central America? In this second edition of Banana Cultures: Agriculture, Consumption, and Environmental Change in Honduras and the United States (University of Texas Press, 2021) Dr. John Soluri presents a lively, interdisciplinary study that integrates agroecology, anthropology, political economy, and history to trace the symbiotic growth of the export banana industry in Honduras and the consumer mass market in the United States.
    Beginning in the 1870s, when bananas first appeared in the U.S. marketplace, Dr. Soluri examines the tensions between the small-scale growers, who dominated the trade in the early years, and the shippers. He then shows how rising demand led to changes in production that resulted in the formation of major agribusinesses, spawned international migrations, and transformed great swaths of the Honduran environment into monocultures susceptible to plant disease epidemics that in turn changed Central American livelihoods. Soluri also looks at labor practices and workers' lives, changing gender roles on the banana plantations, the effects of pesticides on the Honduran environment and people, and the mass marketing of bananas to consumers in the United States. His multifaceted account of a century of banana production and consumption adds an important chapter to the history of Honduras, as well as to the larger history of globalisation and its effects on rural peoples, local economies, and biodiversity.

    This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose new book focuses on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars.
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    • 1 hr 14 min
    Tessa Hill and Eric Simons, "At Every Depth: Our Growing Knowledge of the Changing Oceans" (Columbia UP, 2024)

    Tessa Hill and Eric Simons, "At Every Depth: Our Growing Knowledge of the Changing Oceans" (Columbia UP, 2024)

    At Every Depth: Our Growing Knowledge of the Changing Oceans (Columbia UP, 2024) takes readers on a journey from California tidepools to Antarctic poles, showcasing myriad efforts to research and protect marine environments. Through insightful interviews, oceanographer Tessa Hill and science journalist Eric Simons offer a compelling exploration of humanity's relationship with the ocean. They shed light on research methodologies, the ocean's importance, and the vital role of indigenous peoples in ocean stewardship. 
    Tune in to their interview with the New Books Network, where they share stories from how the research came together, how COVID affected their investigation, and what people can do today to build closer relationships with the ocean.
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    • 53 min
    Timothy Morton, "Hell: In Search of a Christian Ecology" (Columbia UP, 2024)

    Timothy Morton, "Hell: In Search of a Christian Ecology" (Columbia UP, 2024)

    Hell on earth is real. The toxic fusion of big oil, Evangelical Christianity, and white supremacy has ignited a worldwide inferno, more phantasmagoric than anything William Blake could dream up and more cataclysmic than we can fathom. Escaping global warming hell, this revelatory book shows, requires a radical, mystical marriage of Christianity and biology that awakens a future beyond white male savagery.
    In Hell: In Search of a Christian Ecology (Columbia University Press, 2024) Dr. Timothy Morton argues that there is an unexpected yet profound relationship between religion and ecology that can guide a planet-scale response to the climate crisis. Spiritual and mystical feelings have a deep resonance with ecological thinking, and together they provide the resources environmentalism desperately needs in this time of climate emergency. Morton finds solutions in a radical revaluation of Christianity, furnishing ecological politics with a language of mercy and forgiveness that draws from Christian traditions without bringing along their baggage. They call for a global environmental movement that fuses ecology and mysticism and puts race and gender front and centre. This nonviolent resistance can stage an all-out assault on the ultimate Satanic mill: the concept of master and slave, manifesting today in white supremacy, patriarchy, and environmental destruction. Passionate, erudite, and playful, Hell takes readers on a full-colour journey into the contemporary underworld—and offers a surprising vision of salvation.

    This interview was conducted by Dr. Miranda Melcher whose new book focuses on post-conflict military integration, understanding treaty negotiation and implementation in civil war contexts, with qualitative analysis of the Angolan and Mozambican civil wars.
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    • 1 hr 7 min

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5
19 Ratings

19 Ratings

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