UCSB Faculty Books

(Books by current and former UC Santa Barbara faculty.)

After the Grizzly, Peter Alagona

Thoroughly researched and finely crafted, After the Grizzly traces the history of endangered species and habitat in California, from the time of the Gold Rush to the present. Peter S. Alagona shows how scientists and conservationists came to view the fates of endangered species as inextricable from ecological conditions and human activities in the places where those species lived.

“In this important book, Peter Alagona questions–carefully, respectfully, and persuasively–the current conviction that habitat protection is the key to protecting wildlife. His case is as compelling as it will be controversial.” –Richard White, author of Railroaded and The Organic Machine (from Amazon)

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Balancing on a Planet: The Future of Food and Agriculture, David Cleveland

This book is an interdisciplinary primer on critical thinking and effective action for the future of our global agrifood system, based on an understanding of the system’s biological and sociocultural roots. Key components of the book are a thorough analysis of the assumptions underlying different perspectives on problems related to food and agriculture around the world and a discussion of alternative solutions. David Cleveland argues that combining selected aspects of small-scale traditional agriculture with modern scientific agriculture can help balance our biological need for food with its environmental impact—and continue to fulfill cultural, social, and psychological needs related to food. (from Amazon)

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Ecocriticism: The Essential Reader, ed. Ken Hiltner

Ecocriticism: The Essential Reader charts the growth of this important field. The first-wave ecocriticism section focuses on key readings from the 1960s to the 1990s. The second-wave ecocriticism section goes on to consider a range of exciting contemporary trends, including environmental justice, aesthetics and philosophy, and globalization. Readings include the work of Raymond Williams, Jonathan Bate, Timothy Morton, Ursula Heise, Lawrence Buell, Kate Soper, Cary Wolfe, and Kate Rigby. Containing seminal, representative, and contemporary work in the field, this volume and the editorial commentary is designed for use on both undergraduate and postgraduate ecocritical literature courses. (from Amazon)

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Rainforest Cowboys: The Rise of Ranching and Cattle Culture in Western Amazonia, Jeffrey Hoelle

Forthcoming from University of Texas Press, April 2015

The opening of the Amazon to colonization in the 1970s brought cattle, land conflict, and widespread deforestation. In the remote state of Acre, Brazil, rubber tappers fought against migrant ranchers to preserve the forest they relied on, and in the process, these “forest guardians” showed the world that it was possible to unite forest livelihoods and environmental preservation. Nowadays, many rubber tappers and their children are turning away from the forest-based lifestyle they once sought to protect and are becoming cattle-raisers or even caubois (cowboys). Rainforest Cowboys is the first book to examine the social and cultural forces driving the expansion of Amazonian cattle raising in all of their complexity.

Drawing on eighteen months of fieldwork, Jeffrey Hoelle shows how cattle raising is about much more than beef production or deforestation in Acre, even among “carnivorous” environmentalists, vilified ranchers, and urbanites with no land or cattle. (from the Holle Lab)

Humans in the Landscape, William Freudenburg and Richard Howarth

A true synthesis for environmental studies. This is the first textbook to fully synthesize all key disciplines of environmental studies. Humans in the Landscape draws on the biophysical sciences, social sciences, and humanities to explore the interactions between cultures and environments over time, and discusses classic environmental problems in the context of the overarching conflicts and frameworks that motivate them. (from Amazon)

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Environmental Criticism for the 21st Century, ed. Stephanie LeMenager, Teresa Shewry, and Ken Hiltner

Environmental Criticism for the Twenty-First Century showcases the recent explosive expansion of environmental criticism, which is actively transforming three areas of broad interest in contemporary literary and cultural studies: history, scale, and science. With contributors engaging texts from the medieval period through the twenty-first century, the collection brings into focus recent ecocritical concern for the long durations through which environmental imaginations have been shaped. (from Amazon)

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The Blowout in the Gulf, William R. Freudenburg and Robert Gramling

On April 20, 2010, the gigantic drilling rig Deepwater Horizon blew up in the Gulf of Mexico, killing eleven crew members and causing a massive eruption of oil from BP’s Macondo well. For months, oil gushed into the Gulf, spreading death and destruction. Americans watched real-time video of the huge column of oil and gas spewing from the obviously failed “blowout preventer.” What was missing, though, was the larger story of this disaster. In Blowout in the Gulf, energy experts William Freudenburg and Robert Gramling explain both the disaster and the decisions that led up to it. (from Amazon)

“The authors make solid points about the way the U.S. government has allowed big oil companies to march into public waters, about how the much-admired interstate highway system contributed to a fateful boom in U.S. oil consumption and about the way Americans ravenously consume oil and gas today.” The Washington Post

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What Else Is Pastoral?, Ken Hiltner

“What is fascinating about What Else is Pastoral? is the way it tracks the gestation of one of the most pressing issues: how do we represent those processes and activities that our society can live neither with nor without? Hiltner challenges environmentally minded critics who focus on ‘wilderness and nature’ without accounting for the ‘dynamic whereby we become conscious of the countryside and the earth.’ . . . Hiltner’s book does not overplay the relevance to contemporary ecological issues. Even so, the analogues are compelling, especially when he takes us over to Ireland to investigate the centrality of land to a postcolonial perspective.” — Times Literary Supplement (from Amazon)

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 Catastrophe in the Making, William R. Freudenburg, Robert Gramling, Shirley Laska, and Kai Erikson

When houses are flattened, towns submerged, and people stranded without electricity or even food, we attribute the suffering to “natural disasters” or “acts of God.” But what if they’re neither? What if we, as a society, are bringing these catastrophes on ourselves? That’s the provocative theory of Catastrophe in the Making, the first book to recognize Hurricane Katrina not as a “perfect storm,” but a tragedy of our own making—and one that could become commonplace. The authors, one a longtime New Orleans resident, argue that breached levees and sloppy emergency response are just the most obvious examples of government failure. The true problem is more deeply rooted and insidious, and stretches far beyond the Gulf Coast. (from Amazon)

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Renaissance Ecology, ed. Ken Hiltner

The essays in Renaissance Ecology consider how writers and artists such as John Milton imagined, by way of Eden, a future where human beings would live in greater peace with the natural world. This impressive collection takes an exciting, new, “green” approach to representations of Eden, while also considering the role of gender, politics, and poetics, discussing relevant issues of both literature and culture.

“Ken Hiltner’s rewarding collection of essays . . . give us a Milton whose Eden does not merely reflect some Arcadian sense of a vanished Golden Age, but holds out the possibility of regeneration on Earth here and now, the reimagining of Eden declared in the book’s title.” —Modern Language Review (from Amazon)

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Milton and Ecology, Ken Hiltner

Ken Hiltner engages with literary, theoretical, and historic approaches to explore the ideological underpinnings of our current environmental crisis. Focusing on Milton’s rejection of dualistic theology, metaphysical philosophy, and early-modern subjectivism, Hiltner argues that Milton anticipates certain essential modern ecological arguments. This study considers how Milton not only sought to tell the story of how through humanity’s folly Paradise on earth was lost, but also sought to tell how it might be regained. This intriguing study will be of interest to eco-critics and Milton specialists alike. (from Amazon)

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Oil in Troubled Waters, William R. Freudenburg and Robert Gramling

In some coastal regions of the United States, such as western Louisiana, offshore oil development has long been welcomed. In others, such as northern California, it has been vehemently opposed. This book explores the reason behind this paradox, looking at the people, the regions, and the issues in sociological and historical context.

“[This book] is an excellent sociological analysis which challenges the reader’s taken-for-granted assumptions about the nature of offshore drilling and carefully documents the reasons behind the different perceptions and experiences of California and Louisiana residents.” Jean Blocker, University of Tulsa (from book jacket)

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Wilderness and the American Mind (5th Ed), Roderick Nash and Char Miller

Roderick Nash’s classic study of changing attitudes toward wilderness during American history, as well as the origins of the environmental and conservation movements, has received wide acclaim since its initial publication in 1967. The Los Angeles Times listed it among the one hundred most influential books published in the last quarter century, Outside Magazine included it in a survey of “books that changed our world,” and it has been called the “Book of Genesis for environmentalists.” (from Amazon)

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Leave No Trace, Roderick Nash and Jim Wark

“From a mountain peak or a canyon rim a wilderness traveler can start to appreciate the vastness of a wild landscape. But even those spectacular views are blocked by adjacent peaks or river bends. Jim Wark’s outstanding and mind expanding aerial photographs of American wilderness give us a bird’s eye view that few of us would ever behold without the assistance of his camera. In the process we can experience the artistry of large landscape geologic formations, glaciers, coastlines, unbroken forests, and watersheds that would be impossible for the human eye to ever capture or comprehend. He has added a new dimension to wilderness appreciation. The photos are well matched by Rod Nash’s concise and lyrical essays that convey the history of how these landscapes came to be protected and the colorful characters who firmly planted the wilderness concept into the American tradition, thereby giving us all an enduring legacy of wildness.” ~Michael Brune, Executive Director, Sierra Club (from Amazon)

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The Nervous Generation, Roderick Nash

In this reinterpretation of the “Roaring Twenties,” Roderick Nash considers both the literary and political writings of this chaotic and paradoxical decade. Instead of falling into oft-told myths, he grounds his arguments in the details of everyday life to show how anxiety permeated American culture.

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American Environmentalism, ed. Robert Nash

This collection of readings contains comprehensive primary and secondary works in the field of conservation, emphasizes the history of ideas and attitudes about conservation, and gives a chronology of important conservation events in U.S. history from the beginning to the present. Edited by a national leader in the fields of conservation, environmental management, and education, this well-organized anthology is appropriate for courses dealing with American environmental studies and ecology. (from Amazon)

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The Rights of Nature, Roderick Nash

“Historian Nash systematically traces the philosophical concept of man and nature from ancient to modern times in an engaging and readable manner. Then, focusing on America, he makes an analogy between the “ethical extension” of rights from white males to blacks, women, and Indians, and calls for, as the next step, a constitutional amendment in which “nonhuman life must not be deprived of life, liberty or habitat without due process of law.” Today’s deep ecologists (those who place environmental concerns above human ones) are far removed from past anthropocentric thought. Extensively footnoted, this is a major addition to the field.” Sondra Brunhumer, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo (from Amazon)

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The Call of the Wild: 1900-1916, ed. Roderick Nash

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Living Oil, Stephanie LeMenager

Living Oil is a work of environmental cultural studies that engages with a wide spectrum of cultural forms, from museum exhibits and oil industry tours to poetry, documentary film, fiction, still photography, novels and memoirs. The book’s unique focus is the aesthetic, sensory and emotional legacies of petroleum, from its rise to the preeminent modern fossil fuel during World War I through the current era of so-called Tough Oil. LeMenager conceives Tough Oil as a bid for continuity with the charismatic lifestyles of the American twentieth century that carries distinct and extreme external costs. She explores the uncomfortable, mixed feelings produced by oil’s omnipresence in cultural artifacts such as books, films, hamburgers, and Aspirin tablets. (from Amazon).

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Manifest and Other Destinies, Stephanie LeMenager

Manifest and Other Destinies critiques Manifest Destiny’s exclusive claim as an explanatory national story in order to rethink the meaning and boundaries of the West and of the United States’ national identity. Stephanie LeMenager considers the American West before it became a trusted symbol of U.S. national character or a distinct literary region in the later nineteenth century, back when the West was undeniably many wests, defined by international economic networks linking diverse territories and peoples from the Caribbean to the Pacific coast. […] The American West offers the United States its first encounter with worlds at once local and international, worlds that, as time has proven, could never be entirely subordinated to the nation’s imperial desire. (from Amazon)

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Experimenting with Humans and Animals, Anita Guerrini

Experimentation on animals and particularly humans is often assumed to be a uniquely modern phenomenon. But the ideas and attitudes that encourage the biological and medical sciences to experiment on living creatures date from the earliest expression of Western thought. In Animal and Human Experimentation, Anita Guerrini looks at the history of these practices from vivisection in ancient Alexandria to present-day battles over animal rights and medical research employing human subjects. (from Amazon)

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The Emergence of Tropical Medicine in France, Michael Osborne

“An important contribution to our growing understanding of colonial and military medicine. The French story provides an illuminating contrast to its more familiar English counterpart. Osborne paints a finely wrought picture of a world of naval medicine and medical training heretofore obscured by our canonical focus on Parisian institutions, ideas, and practitioners; professionalization and bureaucracy can assume a variety of shapes, and Osborne’s study provides a fresh contribution to the history of the professions as well as to the circumstances and rationales of French colonial policy.” Charles E. Rosenberg, Harvard University (from Amazon)

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