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Here are some of the books coming out this month that we are excited about!

Elias, A. (2019). Coral Empire: Underwater Oceans, Colonial Tropics, Visual Modernity. Duke University Press.

From vividly colored underwater photographs of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef to life-size dioramas re-creating coral reefs and the bounty of life they sustained, the work of early twentieth-century explorers and photographers fed the public’s fascination with reefs. In the 1920s John Ernest Williamson in the Bahamas and Frank Hurley in Australia produced mass-circulated and often highly staged photographs and films that cast corals as industrious, colonizing creatures, and the undersea as a virgin, unexplored, and fantastical territory. In Coral Empire Ann Elias traces the visual and social history of Williamson and Hurley and how their modern media spectacles yoked the tropics and coral reefs to colonialism, racism, and the human domination of nature. Using the labor and knowledge of indigenous peoples while exoticizing and racializing them as inferior Others, Williamson and Hurley sustained colonial fantasies about people of color and the environment as endless resources to be plundered. As Elias demonstrates, their reckless treatment of the sea prefigured attitudes that caused the environmental crises that the oceans and reefs now face.

Fitzgerald, A. J. (2018). Animal Advocacy and Environmentalism: Understanding and Bridging the Divide. John Wiley & Sons.

Many people consider themselves to be both environmentalists and supporters of animal welfare and rights. Yet, despite the many issues which bring environmentalists and animal advocates together, for decades there have been flashpoints which seem to pit these two social movements against each other, dividing them in ways unhelpful to both. In this innovative book, Amy J. Fitzgerald analyses historic, philosophical, and socio-cultural reasons for this divide. Tackling three core contentious issues – sport hunting, zoos, and fur – over which there has been profound disagreement between segments of these movements, she demonstrates that, even here, they are not as far apart as is generally assumed, and that there is space where they could more productively work together. Charting a path forwards, she points to evolving practices and broad structural forces which are likely to draw the movements closer together in the future. The threats posed by industrial animal agriculture to the environment and to non-human and human animals demand, once and for all, that we bridge the divide between animal advocacy and environmentalism.

Jayne, K. (2019). Animal Experimentation: Working Towards a Paradigm Change. K. Herrmann (Ed.). Brill.

Animal experimentation has been one of the most controversial areas of animal use, mainly due to the intentional harms inflicted upon animals for the sake of hoped-for benefits in humans. Despite this rationale for continued animal experimentation, shortcomings of this practice have become increasingly more apparent and well-documented. However, these limitations are not yet widely known or appreciated, and there is a danger that they may simply be ignored. The 51 experts who have contributed to Animal Experimentation: Working Towards a Paradigm Change critically review current animal use in science, present new and innovative non-animal approaches to address urgent scientific questions, and offer a roadmap towards an animal-free world of science.

King, S., Carey, R. S., Macquarie, I., Millious, V., & Power, E. (2019). Messy Eating.

Literature on the ethics and politics of food and that on animal-human relationships have infrequently converged. Representing an initial step towards bridging this divide, Messy Eating features interviews with thirteen prominent and emerging scholars about the connections between their academic work and their approach to consuming animals as food. The collection explores how authors working across a range of perspectives—postcolonial, Indigenous, Black, queer, trans, feminist, disability, poststructuralist, posthumanist, and multispecies—weave their theoretical and political orientations with daily, intimate, and visceral practices of food consumption, preparation, and ingestion.

Laszloffy, T., and Twist, M.L.C., Eds. (2019). Eco-Informed Practice: Family Therapy in an Age of Ecological Peril. Springer.

This innovative book examines how family health and well-being have been impacted by increased alienation from the natural world and calls for greater incorporation of ecological issues into therapeutic practice. Positioning environmental activism as a critical social justice issue, the book highlights the unique opportunities for family therapists to promote reconnection, healing, and sustainability by integrating attention to nature and the environment into their work. Contributors also recommend clinical ideas, strategies, and interventions that can be employed as part of this approach to therapy, research, and teaching. The first work of its kind to address the overlap in environmental and family sustainability in the field of family therapy, Eco-Informed Practice: Family Therapy in an Age of Ecological Peril fills a significant gap in family therapy literature. Students and professionals in mental health fields will find this book an enlightening perspective on family therapy as well as a set of useful guidelines for implementing this exciting new approach in clinical practice.

Nyman, J. (2019). Equine Fictions: Human–Horse Relationships in Twenty-First-Century Writing. Cambridge Scholars Publishing.

This innovative volume approaches the intriguing relationship between humans and horses in 21st-century Anglophone fiction and autobiography from the perspectives of affect and politics. It addresses the strong emotional power attached to the human-horse bond, and contextualizes horse narratives within debates concerning identity and its politics. The in-depth analysis deals with topics such as the intertwinement of humans and animals, healing, mourning, and nostalgia in horse narratives, and the formation of gendered and national identities. The volume pays particular attention to life writing by Susan Richards, Rupert Isaacson, and Buck Brannaman, fiction by Gillian Mears and Jane Smiley, and Follyfoot fanfiction. Because of its focus on narratives telling of today’s human-horse encounters and its explicit attention to diverse textual forms, this book represents a unique contribution to the study of human-horse encounters in contemporary writing, and will be of particular use to scholars working in human-animal studies, Anglophone literature, and American studies.

Tobias, M. C. The Hypothetical Species: Variables of Human Evolution. Springer.

This book is a provocative and invigorating real-time exploration of the future of human evolution by two of the world’s leading interdisciplinary ecologists – Michael Charles Tobias and Jane Gray Morrison. Steeped in a rich multitude of the sciences and humanities, the book enshrines an elegant narrative that is highly empathetic, personal, scientifically wide-ranging and original. It focuses on the geo-positioning of the human Self and its corresponding species. The book’s overarching viewpoints and poignant through-story examine and powerfully challenge concepts associated historically with assertions of human superiority over all other life forms. Ultimately, The Hypothetical Species: Variables of Human Evolution is a deeply considered treatise on the ecological and psychological state of humanity and her options – both within, and outside the rubrics of evolutionary research – for survival. This important work is beautifully presented with nearly 200 diverse illustrations, and is introduced with a foreword by famed paleobiologist, Dr. Melanie DeVore.

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