Do Whales Judge Us: Interspecies History and Ethics
When and Where
Bowhead whales have been known to three groups along the Bering Strait over the past two centuries: Indigenous Yupik and Inupiaq whalers, capitalist commercial whalers, and communist industrial whalers. Each imagined different normative relationships with whales, tied to visions of time, history, and the future. This talk explores how those ideas shaped interactions between human hunters and whales, and what we can discern of whales' own adaptations and— perhaps—ethical responses to their pursuers.
About the Speaker:
Bathsheba Demuth is the Dean’s Associate Professor of History and Environment and Society at Brown University, where she specializes in the lands and seas of the Russian and North American Arctic. Her multiple-prize winning first book, Floating Coast: An Environmental History of the Bering Strait (W.W. Norton) was named a Nature Top Ten Book of 2019 and Best Book of 2019 by NPR, Kirkus Reviews, and Library Journal among others. Demuth holds a BA and MA from Brown University, and an MA and PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. Her writing has appeared in publications from The American Historical Review to The New Yorker.