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PUBLICATION DATE: February 1, 2022
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By Deborah Bird Rose
- Draws on etho-ethnographic fieldwork with flying fox scientists, conservationists and rehabilitation carers, as well as with Australian Aboriginal communities – a leading example of interdisciplinary, multispecies scholarship
- Paints a vivid portrayal of the art of multispecies care amidst ongoing peril
- Eloquently reflects on death and persecution in a time of extinctions
- Elaborates Aboriginal philosophies of ancestral power, brought into contact with other philosophical and scientific traditions
- Engages with decolonial ecological ethics and contributes to environmental philosophy
- The highly anticipated final book by the leading anthropologist and environmental humanities scholar Deborah Bird Rose (1946–2018)
Deborah Bird Rose explores the shimmer of life – the iridescent pulse of beauty and power, the processes of transition and transformation – that flows across and between generations. Grounded within this insight, she develops and advocates for an ethics of attention, that is in the world within everyday practices, and in this case for and with flying foxes and their worlds. A deeply personal book, her struggle with cancer is gently woven into the account she offers of flying fox life and death.
Combining her research expertise in a number of fields – multispecies studies, extinction studies, anthropology and environmental philosophy – Rose paints a vivid portrait of flying fox life and death in the Anthropocene that has important wider lessons for ecological and decolonial ontologies and ethics.
Building from sources such as Hoffmeyer’s biosemiotics, Lévy-Bruhl’s philosophical anthropology, Levinas’ post-Holocaust ethics, Shestov’s existentialism, Stengers’ cosmopolitics and the many insights of her Indigenous Australian friends and teachers, she articulates her own uniquely situated testament to the intergenerational gifts of ancestral power, ever more threatened, yet preciously shared and affirmed.
Deborah Bird Rose
Professor Deborah Bird Rose (1946-2018) was a world-renowned anthropologist and leading figure in the emergence and shaping of the interdisciplinary environmental humanities. Over the course of a career spanning almost forty years, Rose published many widely read, cited, award winning, and often reprinted books, including Hidden Histories (1991), Dingo Makes Us Human (1992), Nourishing Terrains (1996), Country of the Heart (2002), Reports from a Wild Country (2004), and Wild Dog Dreaming(2011). She also edited numerous significant volumes, including Aboriginal Australians and Christian Missions (1988), Manifesto for Living in the Anthropocene (2015), and Extinction Studies(2017), while also co-founding the journal Environmental Humanities. Through this work Rose made major contributions in a range of important fields: from the environmental humanities, and the anthropology of indigenous Australia, to extinction studies, animal and multispecies studies, and philosophies of ethics, justice, religion, temporality and place. Rose was a Fellow of the Australian Social Sciences Academy (ASSA) and was for most of her career based at the Australian National University (1995-2008) and Macquarie University (2008-2013).