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Animate Planet


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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments. Generosity and Nothing But viii

Introduction. Animating Intimacies, Reanimating a World 1

1. Biosecurity and Surveillance in the Food Chain 37

2. The Unwanted Intimacy of Radiation Exposure in Japan 71

Climate Change
3. Climate Change, Slippery on the Skin 105

4. The Greatest Show on Parched Earth 135

Knowing What We KNow, Why Are We Stuck?
5. Political Ecologies of the Precarious 177

Notes 199

References 217

Index 243

About the Author

Kath Weston is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Virginia. A Guggenheim Fellow and two-time winner of the Ruth Benedict Prize, Weston is the author of several books, including Traveling Light: On the Road with America's Poor; Gender in Real Time: Power and Transience in a Visual Age; and Families We Choose: Lesbians, Gays, Kinship.


"The complexity of these readings promotes compassion but also a richer understanding of how humanity inhabits our world. We cannot predict the new directions in which our affects may take us. Through such precarity, and the intimacies, animacies, and enchantments accompanying it, Weston reframes the debates on which the health of our animate planet depends." -- Patricia Wald * Critical Inquiry *
"This sophisticated political ecology reveals how the reciprocal impacts between humans and the environment through industrial technology have become intimate and animate in unprecedented ways. The insightful analysis of cases from India, Japan, and the US are thought-provoking perspectives on the environmental resource categories of climate, energy, food, and water. Recommended." -- L.E. Sponsel * Choice *
"The question that pervades the book - how can humanity deal with the paradox of being the cause of its own destruction and yet not know how to stop doing so? - is fundamentally important to the way we live in the world today, and one we struggle to look at. For this reason alone, Animate Planet is important, and to some degree a must-read." -- Stephanie Bunn * Times Higher Education *
"The merit of Weston's argumentative thrust lies in consistently highlighting the affective attachments people develop towards the things that harm them.... Positioning questions of affect and desire in this way at the heart of life in a technologically damaged world, Weston opens up a field of inquiry that is as conceptually exciting as it is politically urgent." -- Marlene Schafers * Cambridge Journal of Anthropology *
"[Animate Planet] nudge[s] the field of political ecology toward a greater exploration of the embodied and affective ties that bind humans and other living entities with the technologies of late capitalism." -- Teresa Lloro-Bidart * American Ethnologist *
"Contributing to fields such as science and technology studies, philosophy, political economy, anthropology, environmental studies, and ecology, Animate Planet is a fascinating read and well suited for a graduate seminar in any of these fields. . . ." -- Garrett Bunyak * Quarterly Review of Biology *

"Animate Planet succeeds in making an argument for bridging categories to think about the consequences of modernity and the intimacies it produces. Animate Planet could be used in advanced undergraduate courses and graduate seminars."

-- Nicolas Sternsdorff-Cisterna * Anthropological Quarterly *

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