W.E.B. Du Bois Lecture: Babette B. Tischleder
DOR 24, 1501 Cities are mostly considered people’s places. And while (some) birds, squirrels, and rats are familiar as city dwellers, foxes,
DOR 24, 1501
Cities are mostly considered people’s places. And while (some) birds, squirrels, and rats are familiar as city dwellers, foxes, coyotes, or beavers still come as a surprise and are often seen as intruders of urban and suburban spaces and as a threat to human residents and their pets. Yet cities have long become home to predators and other wild creatures that have adapted in remarkable ways to their urban environments. In this talk, I will engage with cities as multispecies habitats: What stories are being told about encounters with nonhuman urban critters? How are they seen to disrupt a human order and sense of safety and hygiene? What possible ways of cohabitation can be imagined? Considering a range of texts, from science to fiction, I want to propose ways of reimagining concepts of wildness, “invasive species,” and human supremacism in the more-than-human city.
BIO: Babette B. Tischleder is professor of North American Studies and Media Studies at the University of Göttingen. Her books include The Literary Life of Things: Case Studies in American Fiction (2014) and the coedited volumes An Eclectic Bestiary: Encounters in a More-than-Human World (with Birgit Spengler, 2019) and Cultures of Obsolescence: History, Materiality, and the Digital Age (with Sarah Wasserman, 2015). Her current work is concerned with the ways in which critical and creative practices may tackle the ecological troubles and endangered futures in our multispecies world, as in the recent essay “Neither Billiard Ball nor Planet B: Latour’s Gaia, Literary Agency, and the Challenge of Writing Geohistory in the Anthropocene Moment” (2019).
HU BerlinUnter den Linden 6