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Loss and Wonder at the World’s End

Loss and Wonder at the World’s End

by Laura A. Ogden

Published by: Duke University Press Books

200 pages, 152.00 x 229.00 x 0.00 mm, 56 illustrations, incl. 1 in color

  • ISBN: 9781478014560
  • Published: October 2021


In Loss and Wonder at the World's End, Laura A. Ogden brings together animals, people, and things—from beavers, stolen photographs, lichen, American explorers, and bird song—to catalog the ways environmental change and colonial history are entangled in the Fuegian Archipelago of southernmost Chile and Argentina. Repeated algal blooms have closed fisheries in the archipelago. Glaciers are in retreat. Extractive industries such as commercial forestry, natural gas production, and salmon farming along with the introduction of non-native species are rapidly transforming assemblages of life. Ogden archives forms of loss—including territory, language, sovereignty, and life itself—as well as forms of wonder, or moments when life continues to flourish even in the ruins of these devastations. Her account draws on long-term ethnographic research with settler and Indigenous communities; archival photographs; explorer journals; as well as experiments in natural history and performance studies. Loss and Wonder at the World's End frames environmental change as imperialism's shadow, a darkness cast upon the Earth in the wake of other losses.