Nonhuman mobiles and feral ecologies: urban parakeets in London
Maan Barua (University of Cambridge)
Paper short abstract:
Focusing on London's non-native Parakeets, this paper examines the implications nonhuman mobiles have for rethinking the politics and ecologies of urban accommodation and expulsion. Feral ecologies, it argues, provide critical insights into notions of cosmopolitan difference and accommodation.
Paper long abstract:
This paper examines the implications nonhuman mobiles have for rethinking the politics and ecologies of accommodation and expulsion. Focusing on London's Rose-ringed Parakeets, a 'non-native' that has established itself in a cosmopolitan metropole, it makes three inter-related arguments. Firstly, it shows how nonhuman mobility has become central to defining nature in urban spaces. Secondly, tracing histories of defining native and non-native species, the paper examines how parakeets are constituted as unwelcome others, to be subject to practices of eradication and control. Thirdly, it foregrounds ways in which the feral might be constitutive of a 'cosmopolitan urban ecology' exceeding design and deliberation. The paper concludes by discussing the implications of nonhuman mobility for both reconceptualizing urbanicity and how the urban might accommodate the feral.