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Imagining Extinction – The Cultural Meanings of Endangered Species - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Imagining Extinction: The Cultural Meanings of Endangered Species

Ursula K. Heise


Current rates of species extinction exceed the evolutionary background rate, and some biologists claim we are witnessing the sixth mass extinction in the history of life on Earth. This book analyzes the narratives that shape public and expert debates about the extinction crisis to argue that biodiversity is primarily a cultural and political issue. Endangered and extinct species typically meet with interest when they are connected to stories about what a particular community believes to have lost through modernization and colonization. The first three chapters trace such engagements with moder ... More

Keywords: environmental narrative, endangered species, biodiversity conservation, species conservation, environmental justice, multispecies theory, ecocriticism, extinction, Anthropocene, cosmopolitanism

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2016 Print ISBN-13: 9780226358024
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: January 2017 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226358338.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Ursula K. Heise, author
University of California, Los Angeles