Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Invasive Narratives and the Inverse of Slow Violence: Alien Species in Science and Society
Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.ORCID iD: 0000-0003-3476-2567
Philosophy and History, KTH, School of Architecture and the Built Environment (ABE), Philosophy and History of Technology, History of Science, Technology and Environment.
Show others and affiliations
Number of Authors: 5
2015 (English)In: Environmental humanities, ISSN 2201-1919, E-ISSN 2201-1919, Vol. 7, 1-40 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Environmental narratives have become an increasingly important area of study in the environmental humanities. Rob Nixon has drawn attention to the difficulties of representing the complex processes of environmental change that inflict ‘slow violence’ on vulnerable human (and non-human) populations. Nixon argues that a lack of “arresting stories, images and symbols” reduces the visibility of gradual problems such as biodiversity loss, climate change and chemical pollution in cultural imaginations and on political agendas. We agree with Nixon that addressing this representational imbalance is an important mission for the environmental humanities. However, we argue that another aspect of the same imbalance, or representational bias, suggests the inverse of this is also needed—to unpack the ways that complicated and multifaceted environmental phenomena can be reduced to fast, simple, evocative, invasive narratives that percolate through science, legislation, policy and civic action, and to examine how these narratives can drown out rather than open up possibilities for novel social-ecological engagements. In this article we demonstrate the idea of invasive narratives through a case study of the ‘invasive alien species’ (IAS) narrative in South Africa. We suggest that IAS reduces complex webs of ecological, biological, economic, and cultural relations to a simple ‘good’ versus ‘bad’ battle between easily discernible ‘natural’ and ‘non-natural’ identities. We argue that this narrative obstructs the options available to citizens, land managers and policy-makers and prevents a more nuanced understanding of the dynamics and implications of biodiversity change, in South Africa and beyond.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Duke University Press, 2015. Vol. 7, 1-40 p.
National Category
Languages and Literature Other Humanities
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-176655ISI: 000375754300001OAI: diva2:868220

QC 20160111

Available from: 2015-11-09 Created: 2015-11-09 Last updated: 2016-10-10Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

fulltext(612 kB)8 downloads
File information
File name FULLTEXT01.pdfFile size 612 kBChecksum SHA-512
Type fulltextMimetype application/pdf

Other links

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Lidström, SusannaPérez - Ramos, M. Isabel
By organisation
History of Science, Technology and Environment
In the same journal
Environmental humanities
Languages and LiteratureOther Humanities

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
Total: 8 downloads
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 139 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link