“An ambitiously interdisciplinary volume offering thought-provoking new ways for considering how toxic landscapes challenge a linear, colonialist, and capitalist model of time-as-progress.”
Vivien Hamilton, coeditor of Inevitably Toxic: Historical Perspectives on Contamination, Exposure and Expertise
An interdisciplinary environmental humanities volume that explores human-environment relationships on our permanently polluted planet.
While toxicity and pollution are ever present in modern daily life, politicians, juridical systems, media outlets, scholars, and the public alike show great difficulty in detecting, defining, monitoring, or generally coming to terms with them. This volume’s contributors argue that the source of this difficulty lies in the struggle to make sense of the intersecting temporal and spatial scales working on the human and more-than-human body, while continuing to acknowledge race, class, and gender in terms of global environmental justice and social inequality.
The term toxic timescapes refers to this intricate intersectionality of time, space, and bodies in relation to toxic exposure. As a tool of analysis, it unpacks linear understandings of time and explores how harmful substances permeate temporal and physical space as both event and process. It equips scholars with new ways of creating data and conceptualizing the past, present, and future presence and possible effects of harmful substances and provides a theoretical framework for new environmental narratives. To think in terms of toxic timescapes is to radically shift our understanding of toxicants in the complex web of life.
Toxicity, pollution, and modes of exposure are never static; therefore, dose, timing, velocity, mixture, frequency, and chronology matter as much as the geographic location and societal position of those exposed. Together, these factors create a specific toxic timescape that lies at the heart of each contributor’s narrative. Contributors from the disciplines of history, human geography, science and technology studies, philosophy, and political ecology come together to demonstrate the complex reality of a toxic existence. Their case studies span the globe as they observe the intersection of multiple times and spaces at such diverse locations as former battlefields in Vietnam, aging nuclear-weapon storage facilities in Greenland, waste deposits in southern Italy, chemical facilities along the Gulf of Mexico, and coral-breeding laboratories across the world.
Simone M. Müller is the director of the DFG Emmy-Noether Research Group “Hazardous Travels: Ghost Acres and the Global Waste Economy” at the Rachel Carson Center for Environment and Society at Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München. As a historian and environmental humanities scholar, she works at the intersection of globalization processes, discards, and environmental justice. More info →
May-Brith Ohman Nielsen is a professor of history and history didactics at the University of Agder and project leader of the research group “Deadly Dreams: The Cultural History of Poison, 1850–2020.” Her work in environmental history and environmental humanities focuses on pesticides in social, generational, and historical contexts. Her other research areas include the history of epidemics, everyday life, and ideologies. More info →
Save 20% ($29.56)
Save 20% ($64)
This book is not yet available for desk or examination copy requests. Please check back soon.
Permission to reprint
Permission to photocopy or include in a course pack via Copyright Clearance Center
Coffee Is Not Forever assesses the global spread of a dire existential threat—coffee rust—to a crop consumers take for granted. In departing from commodity histories’ usual emphasis on the social and economic, and instead putting ecology at the forefront, Stuart McCook offers the first truly global environmental history of coffee.
Inventing Pollution examines new understandings of pollution, centered not on organic decay but on coal combustion, that emerged in the late 19th century in Britain. This change, Thorsheim argues, gave birth to the smoke-abatement movement and to new ways of thinking about the relationships among humanity, technology, and the environment.
Ailing in Place examines environmental conditions in Appalachia and explores the relationship between those conditions and certain health outcomes that are often incorrectly ascribed to poor individual choices.
In this bold argument, Robert Booth asserts that the environmental crisis stems from our anthropocentric understanding of, and behavior in, the more-than-human world. Linking environmental phenomenology to ecofeminism, he shows why and how an ecophenomenological praxis may interrupt the environmental crisis at its source.
Sign up to be notified when new Human Geography titles come out.
We will only use your email address to notify you of new titles in the subject area(s) you follow. We will never share your information with third parties.