ELIZABETH CALLAWAY Islands in the Aether Ocean: Speculative Ecosystems in Science Fiction iodiversity has become a foundational framework for as- sessing the health of the more-than-human environment. It is a concept that molds how life on this planet looks, with massive environmental nonprot fi s using die ff rent metrics to determine where to direct their eo ff rts. The word is scientifi - cally (if broadly) defined by the UN Convention on Biodiversity as “the variability among living organisms from all sources including [but not exclusive to] terrestrial, marine and other aquatic ecosys- tems and the ecological complexes of which they are part; this in- cludes diversity within species, between species and of ecosystems” (United Nations 3). Recently, humanities scholars like Ursula K. Heise, Thom Van Dooren, and Deborah Bird Rose have investigated representations of biodiversity loss, indicating that species number and composition are not merely mae tt rs of scientic fi counting but of cultural meaning (Heise, Imagining Extinction; Van Dooren, “Last Snail”; Rose, Wild Dog Dreaming). However, the meanings of biodi- versity (and not just its loss) are negotiated by the various media that represent, engage, and remediate this concept. Because of bio- diversity’s role in
Contemporary Literature – University of Wisconsin Press
Published: May 28, 2019
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