Taylor Eggan

May 9, 2022

Unsettling Nature

Ecology, Phenomenology, and the Settler Colonial Imagination

University of Virginia Press 2022

In today's NBN Environmental Studies interview, dancer, performer, and literary scholar Dr. Taylor Eggan joins us to speak about his new book Unsettling Nature: Ecology, Phenomenology, and Settler Colonial Imagination (University of Virginia Press, 2022). A text best described as an intellectual bestiary using environmental philosophy, literary theory, settler colonial studies, decolonial theory, and speculative realism, Unsettling Nature addresses logics embedded with ecological homecoming narratives rooted in idealistic notions of getting back to nature. By applying the impressive catalog of critical theory combined with an array of unique literary artifacts, Eggan transports the reader from the American West to Southern Africa, exploring the complex dynamics of colonial homemaking throughout the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Structured around six chapters and two excursus, Unsettling Nature identifies the root of logics of elimination and erasure within the coloniality of nature, informing contemporary ecological homecoming narratives. Concluding the text by evoking exo-phenomenology, Eggan illustrates how unsettling settler legacies can be performed through "sustained practices of reciprocity and acts of solidarity" to recognize and resolve the uncanny anxieties of alienation and belonging embedded in Western approaches to homemaking and being.

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