What I’m working on (04.05.2018)

PENGUINS. Since February, I’ve been volunteering one day a week in the penguins exhibit at the New England Aquarium. The work is putting me in touch with the performance of wildness in public space, and with some of the more charismatic and labored systems, practices, and protocols framing wildness in our midst.

What I’m working on (11.1.2017)

DOGS. Science defines the bark as a behavior subject to determinative rules; popular accounts of canine forms of life weave together discourses from genetics, behavioral ecology, paleontology, evolutionary psychology, and public health—and yet beyond these, the dog’s bark resonates in a dark abundance of critterly relations that make the dog what Donna Haraway (2003) describes as our partner in the crime of human evolution.” As part of a panel at this summer’s 4S conference, in Boston, I gave a talk called Cynical soundings: the dappled world of the dog’s bark”; I’m doing some writing now that takes ideas and observations in that talk further, relying on Donna Haraway’s observations in When Species Meet (2008), John Hartigan, Jr.’s Aesop’s Anthropology, and Thomas van Dooren’s Flight Ways (2015) along with a pack of other texts, including the poetry of Wallace Stevens (think Thirteen Ways of Listening to a Dog Bark”).

BOOK SERIES on INVASIVE SPECIES. I’ve agreed to edit Invasive Agents, a new series for Trinity University Press. The series will explore the idea of the invasive species in a series of short, vivid accounts of creaturely encounters with the human world. We’ll consider the weedy, the feral, and the invasive as companions and community members, and ground our ecology not in breakdown, but in becoming. Books in the series will strike an open and open-hearted relation to natural phenomena, to see intrusions of nature into human forms of life not as vectors of disease but opportunities to wonder, cultivate, and take common cause with the nonhuman world. If you’ve got an idea for a title, or want to point me in the direction of a possible author, let me know!

January 9, 2018