Placing the Wild in the City: “Th inking with” Melbourne’s Bats Melanie S. Th omson 1 University of Melbourne, Victoria, Australia Abstract Th is paper uses academic and lay discourses to examine the ways in which “the city” is constructed in its relationship to “wildlife.” Th e paper examines the negative and essentialized ways in which the city’s relationship to wildlife has been represented in postcolonial theory and animal geography. Th e paper further explores these theoretical framings of the city in the empirical context of the relocation of an urban, flying fox colony, which provides opportunities to reconsider these bounded conceptualizations of the city. Keywords Animal geography, postcolonial theory, city-nature binary, wildlife, boundaries Introduction Castree (2004) commented that “revealing nature as a ‘social construct’ . . . is still necessary and useful so long as the dichotomy of society-nature continues to inform lay and expert discourses” (p. 194). Although I concur with Castree’s point, I want to emphasize that “nature” is only one part of this dichotomy. If it is still important to deconstruct nature, then it must be equally important to interrogate that which is conceptualized as nature’s inverse: In any binary, each relatum depends on
Society & Animals – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 2007
Keywords: CITY-NATURE BINARY; ANIMAL GEOGRAPHY; POSTCOLONIAL THEORY; WILDLIFE; BOUNDARIES
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