How do we understand the lives of nonhuman animals and our relationship with and responsibilities to them? What are the artifacts or things that help configure such perceived responsibility? And what does it mean to practice conservation in the Anthropocene? Amy D. Propen seeks to answer these questions in Visualizing Posthuman Conservation in the Age of the Anthropocene, which brings a visual-material rhetorical approach into conversation with material feminisms and environmental humanities to describe how technologies, environments, bodies, and matter work together to shape and reshape how we coexist with our nonhuman kin.
Through case studies in which visual technologies and science play a prominent role in arguments to protect threatened marine species—from photographs showing the impact of ocean plastics on vulnerable sea birds, to debates about seismic testing and its impact on marine species, to maps created from GPS tracking projects—Propen advances a notion of posthuman environmental conservation that decenters the human enough to consider ideas about the material world from the vantage point of the nonhuman animal. In so bringing together work in environmental humanities, animal studies, human geography, and visual-material rhetoric, Propen further shows how interdisciplinary ways of knowing can further shape and illuminate our various lived and embodied experiences.