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Accepted Contribution:

Biological invasions beyond nature  
Tobias Wagner (Goethe University Frankfurt)

Short abstract:

Invasive Alien Species are considered one of the biggest threats to biodiversity loss today, yet the foundational definitions, categorizations and underlying concepts of nature and culture are heavily contested. Social-scientific critiques of nature-culture dualisms further complicate them.

Long abstract:

The concept of invasive alien species constitutes an ecological way of problematizing some organisms novel to ecosystems and their interactions with local species. To become intelligible as a problem, species causing harm to ecosystems are dependent on a number of technoscientific categories, like clearly defined ecosystems or species being “native” and “foreign”, but also explicitly normative and aesthetic judgements about “good” and “bad” forms of nature. The production of knowledge on and the formal and informal management of species constellations enacts those categories and judgements materially, producing natures, cultures, and ecologies as they go along.

Social scientists, especially feminist and post/anti-colonial scholars, have produced valuable insights into and critiques of nature-culture dualisms. The gendered and racialized relations of power, (re)produced and maintained in the enactments of nature and culture, fundamentally question the categories produced in technoscientific ways of knowing and doing nature(s).

Taking this critique seriously poses several question: What are biological invasions beyond dualistic understanding of nature and culture? What kind of relations to ecosystems and biodiversity do we want to foster, when looking at species constellations? How do we best live and die within the entanglements we have? In my talk, I will sketch out possibilities and ideas, based on my fieldwork on invasive species management.

Combined Format Open Panel P380
Knowledges of ecology and ecologies of knowledge
  Session 2 Friday 19 July, 2024, -