Accepted Paper:

Designer Environments in the Circumpolar North  


David Anderson (University of Aberdeen)

Paper short abstract:

This paper surveys 40 years of applied biological work involving the 'translocation' and 'restoration' of endangered or extinct fauna across the circumpolar North.

Paper long abstract:

For forty years, often taking keen advantage of the authoritarian registers of the Cold War, a number of experiements have been launched in introducing or 'restoring' extinct or endangered fauna across the circumpolar. Keynote examples include muskrat, bison, muskoxen, and even attempts to retrobreed wooly mammoths. This applied biological work is often justified as an attempt to restore environments to an 'eden-like' state from before paleolithic human hunters disrupted it. The real-time relocations however disrupt ongoing human-animal relationships in these regions often governed by indigenous people. The paper will query the notions of the natural and of restoration as well as the relationships of power that these notions imply.

Panel BH15
Querying domestication: the ethnography of human-animal entanglements