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University of Arizona Press

Whale Snow: Iñupiat, Climate Change, and Multispecies Resilience in Arctic Alaska

Whale Snow: Iñupiat, Climate Change, and Multispecies Resilience in Arctic Alaska

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As a mythical creature, the whale has been responsible for many transformations in the world. It is an enchanting being that humans have long felt a connection to. In the contemporary environmental imagination, whales are charismatic megafauna feeding our environmentalism and aspirations for a better and more sustainable future.

Using multispecies ethnography, Whale Snow explores how everyday the relatedness of the I upiat of Arctic Alaska and the bowhead whale forms and transforms "the human" through their encounters with modernity. Whale Snow shows how the people live in the world that intersects with other beings, how these connections came into being, and, most importantly, how such intimate and intense relations help humans survive the social challenges incurred by climate change. In this time of ecological transition, exploring multispecies relatedness is crucial as it keeps social capacities to adapt relational, elastic, and resilient.

In the Arctic, climate, culture, and human resilience are connected through bowhead whaling. In Whale Snow we see how climate change disrupts this ancient practice and, in the process, affects a vital expression of Indigenous sovereignty. Ultimately, though, this book offers a story of hope grounded in multispecies resilience.

Author: Chie Sakakibara
Publisher: University of Arizona Press
Published: 10/06/2020
Pages: 304
Binding Type: Paperback
Weight: 1.05lbs
Size: 8.90h x 5.90w x 0.80d
ISBN: 9780816529612

About the Author
Chie Sakakibara is an assistant professor of environmental studies at Oberlin College. Sakakibara was trained in cultural geography, art history, and Indigenous studies. Her work explores human dimensions of global environmental change among Indigenous peoples.

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