Placing the Wild in the City: "Thinking with" Melbourne's Bats

Placing the Wild in the City: "Thinking with" Melbourne's Bats 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 http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Society & Animals Brill

Placing the Wild in the City: "Thinking with" Melbourne's Bats

Society & Animals, Volume 15 (1): 79 – Jan 1, 2007

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Publisher
Brill
Copyright
© 2007 Koninklijke Brill NV, Leiden, The Netherlands
ISSN
1063-1119
eISSN
1568-5306
DOI
10.1163/156853007X169360
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

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

Journal

Society & AnimalsBrill

Published: Jan 1, 2007

Keywords: CITY-NATURE BINARY; ANIMAL GEOGRAPHY; POSTCOLONIAL THEORY; WILDLIFE; BOUNDARIES

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