Category Archives: Domestication

Urban Multispecies

The Washington Post is reporting on recent research by entomologist Emily Hartop (Natural History Museum of Los Angeles), who just identified 30 new species of flies in a survey of backyards and gardens in LA. That’s a stunning quantity in … Continue reading

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The Whiteness of Pets

In racial analysis, the focus is predominantly on dynamics of othering or dehumanization. This draws into view how police officer Darren Wilson clearly saw a monster—“like a demon” or “Hulk Hogan,” not speaking, just making “a grunting, like aggravated sound”—rather … Continue reading

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Species: a keyword

Species is a means for thinking both the stability and mutability of life forms. Species mark stabilized “moments”—sometimes over eons—as organisms transition from one discernible, reproducible form to another. Species organize varying degrees of internal variation—genetic and phenotypic—over against external … Continue reading

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Drawing the line tw tamed and untamed

Pigeons are a staple character in figuring interspecies exchanges across the line between domesticated and untamed in Aesop’s tales. Used as snares, by a bird-catcher, tamed pigeons are chastised by captured wild ones—“being of the same race, they should have … Continue reading

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They make us who we are

Another approach to the question of nonhuman culture begins not with considering how they might do what we do too, but rather with the recognition that our version of culture was largely developed entirely through engagements with or attention to … Continue reading

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“artificial selection”

Domestication is a good reminder that the life forms Darwin relied upon, first to glimpse and then to articulate, the theory of evolution were ones subject to “artificial selection.” Pigeons, dogs, cabbages, and horses—all identified as “races” by Darwin—were the … Continue reading

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Domestication

It is hard to get “beyond the human” when we reside in the Anthropocene—that geological age characterized by the massive transformative (and perhaps imperiling) effect humans have had on the planet. An urge impelling much multispecies work is to somehow … Continue reading

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Companion species at the nativity

A basic task in developing a multispecies perspective is recognizing its pervasive elements in common sources. Take the nativity scene, which is staged and on display currently in numerous public and private settings throughout the world. The striking feature of … Continue reading

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