Reviews

Thoughts on books, articles, films, software, exhibits, and much, much more.

Seeds as Time Capsules

When Courtney Fullilove looks inside a seed, she sees Mennonite farmers, Comanche agriculture, and Echinacea patents. Her new book, “The Profit of the Earth,” shows that the genes of a seed can narrate the history of American empire.

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Black Branding and Gentrification in Washington, D.C.

Who should be allowed to brand a neighborhood? A review of Derek Hyra’s new book, “Race, Class, and Politics in the Cappuccino City,” examining transformations in the the Shaw/U Street neighborhood of the nation’s capital.

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Toxic Bodies and the Wetter, Better Future of “Fury Road”

Most Hollywood catastrophe films offer neat endings and the promise of a fresh start. Fury Road asks what happens when the broken world cannot be made whole.

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Environmental Resentment on the Political Right

When is political resentment legitimate, and who gets to decide? Two recent books examine the emotional world of politics in rural Wisconsin and Louisiana.

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Humility and Hubris: A Review of Luc Jacquet’s “Ice and the Sky”

Even with the impacts of the Anthropocene, it would be hubristic not to realize that ice and sky will far outlast anything so puny as humanity.

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The Truthiness of Nature Films: A Review of Perrin and Cluzaud’s “Seasons”

The makers of “Winged Migration” return with a new film that challenges viewers’ expectations of authenticity in nature documentaries.

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Review: Adam Trexler’s Anthropocene Fictions

A new book surveys 150 novels about climate change and makes the case for the virtues of cli-fi.

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Listening to the Anthropocene: John Luther Adams’s Become Ocean

A meditation on an orchestral work that evokes our era of environmental change.

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Down the Peter Rabbit Hole: Literary Adventures for Little Ones

CHE affiliates in Zoology, History, and English recommend children’s literature for readers of all ages interested in the non-human world.

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Placing the Golden Spike: Uneasy Temporality in the Anthropocene

A new exhibit at the UW-Milwaukee Institute for Visual Arts offers a range of imaginative visualizations for the crisis of the Anthropocene.

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