Committee on Environment, Geography and Urbanization

Division of Social Sciences, The University of Chicago

May 16, 2022

Reading List: Animals, Territories, Environments

by Hannah Wilson-Black

We hope you enjoyed our April 29th CEGU panel event, “Animals, Territories, Environments” with Matthew Gandy and Mindi Schneider (moderated by our very own Neil Brenner and Victoria Saramago). Whether you were intrigued by the title but unable to attend or you left the conversation wanting to learn more, this list of materials and terms referenced by the panelists is for you!

00:01:36 Neil Brenner is Lucy Flower Professor of Urban Sociology and interim director of the Committee on Geographical Sciences. His most recent book is New Urban Spaces: Urban Theory and the Scale Question (Oxford University Press, 2019).

00:05:36 Victoria Saramago is an Assistant Professor of Hispanic and Luso-Brazilian Studies in UChicago’s Department of Romance Languages and Literatures and a CEGU faculty affiliate. She is the author of Fictional Environments: Mimesis, Deforestation, and Development in Latin America(Northwestern University Press, 2020).

00:07:12 Matthew Gandy is a Professor of Cultural and Historical Geography at the University of Cambridge and author of Natura Urbana: Ecological Constellations in Urban Space(The MIT Press, 2022).

00:08:37 Mindi Schneider is an Assistant Professor of Development Sociology at Wageningen University studying global food politics, with a focus on China’s pork industry. Check out her 2017 article “The end of alternatives? Capitalist transformation, rural activism and the politics of possibility in China” in The Journal of Peasant Studies.

00:22:43 Jennifer Wolch coined the term “zoöpolis” in Animal Geographies: Place, Politics, and Identity in the Nature-Culture Borderlands (Verso Books, 1998).

00:23:34 Chris Otter is a technology historian at The Ohio State University currently working on a research project entitled The Technosphere: A Deep Human History.

00:23:40 Matthew is referencing a recent article from Neil and Swarnabh Ghosh, “Between the colossal and the catastrophic: Planetary urbanization and the political ecologies of emergent infectious disease” in Environment and Planning A: Economy and Space.

00:24:07 Gilles Clément is a French ecologist, professor, and designer of public parks based at the Versailles National School of Landscape Architecture.

00:25:12 Frédéric Keck is a researcher, anthropologist, and author of Avian Reservoirs: Virus Hunters and Birdwatchers in Chinese Sentinel Posts(Duke University Press, 2020).

00:36:04 “Polanyian” refers to the economic theories of Karl Polanyi, who coined the term “fictitious commodity” (a commodity exchanged in the marketplace which was not created for the marketplace) in his book The Great Transformation: The Political and Economic Origins of our Time (originally Farrar & Rinehart, 1944).

01:01:50 Ursula K. Heise is the author of Imagining Extinction: The Cultural Meanings of Endangered Species (University of Chicago Press, 2016).

01:05:40 Carrie Freshour is an Assistant Professor of Geography at the University of Washington and author, most recently, of “Cheap Meat, Cheap Work in the US Poultry Industry: Race, Gender, and Immigration in Corporate Strategies to Shape Labor,” in Global Meat: Social and Environmental Consequences of the Expanding Meat Industry (MIT Press, 2019).

01:10:08 “Malthusian” refers to Thomas Malthus (1766-1834), an English economist particularly concerned with human demography.

01:10:24 John Lossing Buck was an American agronomist focusing on rural China.

01:11:48 The Great Cat Massacre and Other Episodes in French Cultural History by Robert Darnton (Basic Books, 1984).

01:20:05 “Metabolic rift” is a term coined by John Bellamy Foster in his essay “Marx’s Theory of Metabolic Rift: Classical Foundations for Environmental Sociology.”

The Committee on Environment, Geography and Urbanization (CEGU) is a proposal currently under development by a faculty working group at the University of Chicago. Based in the Division of Social Sciences, CEGU is envisioned as a robust interdisciplinary platform for critical thinking, advanced research, and innovative pedagogy on the societal and spatial dimensions of climate change, biodiversity loss, and environmental transformation. Please visit cegu.info for more information on the proposal and the faculty working group’s plans for the future.