December 17, 2017

Environmental History July 2017, 22.3

TABLE OF CONTENTS at OUP July, 2017 | Vol. 22, No. 3



Conservation research has been a mainstay in this journal since its inception. This issue taps into those roots, albeit in a way that showcases new directions such scholarship has taken in recent years. The articles here collectively cover four centuries of history on four continents and provide insight into a variety of conservation issues, ranging from landscape and species protection, changes in the science and politics driving such efforts, and the material and cultural effects of land and water reclamation projects. Individually, each article presents a unique case study on a specific place and time; in combination, they reveal the analytical vibrancy and adaptability of conservation history, one of the pillars on which this journal was built.

This issue’s full editor’s note…


Gallery Editors’ Note by Finis Dunaway

I am sure that readers were not expecting to find an essay about chest waxing in this issue of Environmental History. David Kneas’s Gallery essay, though, examines an unusual convergence of popular culture and conservation politics: a public service announcement featuring movie star Harrison Ford having his chest hair removed. Kneas connects this Conservation International video to larger issues in the history of modern environmentalism, including the role of celebrities in the movement and the challenges of portraying the causes and consequences of climate change. Kneas reads this video—and Ford’s chest hair—in relation to Hollywood depictions of the masculine body and to popular portrayals of ecological vulnerability. He argues that this visual text registers a broader shift in the ways that tropical rainforests are seen and valued: from a focus on biodiversity to an emphasis on ecosystem services. In explaining how the campaign imagines the “here” and “there” of conservation, Kneas addresses critical questions about ecological responsibility and global power relations. Chest waxing may elicit laughter, but Kneas considers the serious implications of Ford’s visit to the salon.

Harrison Ford, just after a section of his chest hair is removed. Frame capture from video by Conservation International, Wax, 2008.