Acknowledgments Introduction: Telling Lively Stories at the Edge of Extinction 1. Fledging Albatrosses: Flight Ways and Wasted Generations 2. Circling Vultures: Life and Death at the Dull Edge of Extinction 3. Urban Penguins: Stories for Lost Places 4. Breeding Cranes: The Violent-Care of Captive Life 5. Mourning Crows: Grief in a Shared World Epilogue: A Call for Stories Notes References Index
Thom van Dooren puts philosophy into conversation with the natural sciences and his ethnographic encounters to vivify the significance of extinction. Flight Ways incorporates the particularities of real animals and their worlds, each chapter focusing on a different species or group of birds. Written in eloquent and moving prose, the book takes stock of what is lost when a life form disappears from the world.
Thom van Dooren is an environmental philosopher and anthropologist at the University of New South Wales, Australia. His research is situated in the interdisciplinary field of the environmental humanities.
An excellent book that deserves wide readership. -- Marc Bekoff, editor of Ignoring Nature No More: The Case For Compassionate Conservation I love this book. Thom van Dooren's thorough, detailed, and calmly passionate scholarship adds immensely to my understanding of caring, science, and justice, and conditions for recuperation that take multispecies flourishing seriously. He is a leader in learning to learn without the tools of human exceptionalism, attuned to the nuances and specificities of situated worlds, including human worlds-in-relation with other critters. -- Donna Haraway, author of When Species Meet In this wise and fascinating book, van Dooren takes us into the fleshy, biosocial, and ethical consequences of extinction. His lively stories of five bird species open worlds-both avian and human-of care, dedication, and the most ardent commitment. By developing a deeper understanding of species as intergenerational and interspecies achievements, van Dooren helps us rethink both loss and conservation. Flight Ways is a profoundly realized exploration of why extinction matters, and how we may respond. -- Deborah Bird Rose, author of Wild Dog Dreaming: Love and Extinction Haunting, beautiful, and important: Flight Ways is extraordinary. This is ethnographic storytelling at its very best, and it carries the environmental humanities to new heights. You will never look at a bird in the same way again. -- Anna Tsing, University of California, Santa Cruz Flight Ways recovers a way of responding ethically to extinction. van Dooren's scientifically-informed case studies of particular bird species facing extinction give the lie to the trope of "the last one" by framing stories of the "distinct unraveling of ways of life" that had evolved over millions of years and whose passings are unevenly experienced as tragedies. Informative, heartbreaking, and deeply inspiring, his book serves as a compelling model for how animal studies scholarship can move beyond false competitions of individuals and populations to engage with the real problems of sustaining life in multispecies communities. -- Susan McHugh, author of Animal Stories: Narrating across Species Lines and Dog A magnificent, sensitive, and marvelously intelligent book that tells stories of extinction while reinspiring us with life and curiosity. Every page teaches us something about other forms and ways of life, makes us think differently or more deeply than we have been in the habit of thinking, and helps us to do so in company with the beings of other species. Van Dooren teaches us that to care passionately can be a weapon of resistance against the forces of destruction. -- Vinciane Despret, University of Liege Thom van Dooren's book... blends philosophy with the natural sciences in his discussion of the cultural and ethical significance of modern-day extinctions. Birds are the focus of this lovely book and readers are treated to beautiful prose about what it means to the birds themselves and to us to lose these amazing beings. Psychology Today Masterful... [a] thought-provoking book and essential reading for those who seek to avert the sixth mass extinction. It makes the case, eloquently and convincingly, for greater attention to scientifically-informed narratives... Biological Conservation Engaging... CHOICE A novel, thought-provoking, and deeply moving analysis of species extinction from the perspective of five different bird species The Year's Work in Critical and Cultural Theory A very valuable book that makes an important (and affective) intervention in existing conceptual debates. Somatosphere