The Politics of Representation in Birdwatching Field Guides
Publication Year: 2011
Published by: University of Massachusetts Press
Table of Contents
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List of Illustrations
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This book could not have been written without the support of family, friends, colleagues, and institutions. I am particularly thankful for the support from my friends and colleagues in the English department and Center for Writing Studies at the...
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Field guides are enchanting, visual texts. With brilliant illustrations, careful design, and terse scientific descriptions, field guides help answer a fundamental question: What am I looking at? With the help of a field guide, an unknown tree can become a Sugar Maple...
Chapter 1. Field Guides and the New Hobby of Birdwatching
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In the 1880s and ’90s, someone interested in reading about the birds of New England would have been able to cobble together an array of resources and learn a good deal. There were two comprehensive ornithological manuals in print at the time: Elliot...
Chapter 2. Nuisance Birds, Field Guides, and Environmental Management
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The Bald Eagle is currently known as a patriotic symbol within the United States, but the bird was once despised for its work habits and killed by the thousands as a bounty bird in Alaska. Crows still have a bad reputation. Today they are hunted with few regulations across North America even as research shows...
Chapter 3. Picturing Birds in Altered Landscapes
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The main purpose of field guides is to help birdwatchers identify birds. As I have been arguing all along, though, these books have always done much more than that. The authors of the first birdwatching field guides used extended narratives to create new...
Chapter 4. Technojumping into Electronic Field Guides
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Thus far, I have made the case that field guides are based on a range of environmental assumptions with environmental implications. Field guides, though, are changing. Birdwatchers can now buy field-guide applications for personal digital assistants...
Chapter 5. Birding on Toxic Land
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Some of the natural areas where birders watch birds are toxic. The competitive birding event called the World Series of Birding, North America’s most publicized big-day birding event, takes place in New Jersey, the state with the highest density and number of EPA Superfund sites in the...
Conclusion: The Birdwatchers of the Montlake Landfill
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In 2003 and 2004, I spent a sequence of Sundays at Seattle’s Montlake Landfill—the covered-over landscape described in chapter 5—in an effort to observe and talk with birdwatchers there. I have said a lot in this book about birdwatchers, their politics, and their attitudes; this field work was my attempt to study them in...
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Page Count: 224
Publication Year: 2011