Drafts of the below papers have been completed and are awaiting publication. Please get in touch if you’d like to see any of them.
Drifting with Snails: Extinction Stories from Hawai‘i
For Kaori Nagai (ed.) (2022), Maritime Animals, Penn State University Press: University Park, PA.
The Hawaiian Islands were once home to one of the most diverse assemblages of terrestrial snails found anywhere on earth. Today, the majority of these species are thought to be extinct and most of those that remain are threatened. This chapter explores this context of loss, asking what it means and why it matters that so much of Hawai’i’s rich snail diversity is disappearing. It does so, however, through a focus on one very particular question: how did a global centre of terrestrial snail diversity end up out in the middle of the Pacific Ocean? Snails, after all, are not commonly known for their propensity to undertake long journeys—not by land, and certainly not by sea. So, how did they all get to this most remote oceanic archipelago? Equally as importantly at our present time, how might these ongoing extinctions be understood differently if we pay attention to snail voyages across vast oceans, both literal and temporal? What might this context help us to see, appreciate, and perhaps hold onto?
Military Snails: Multispecies Solidarities in Hawai‘i
For Environmental Humanities in Oceania and the Pacific Islands, Rebecca H. Hogue and Craig Santos Perez (eds.)
Mākua Valley on the island of O‘ahu is a place in which snail conservation, the US Army, and Kānaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) claims to access land and cultural sites, are all brought into dynamic tension. Over roughly the past 100 years, the Army have used this valley for live-fire and other exercises, excluding people while also blowing up and burning the habitat of critically endangered land snails and other species. Snails and some local people are drawn together here into a powerful multispecies solidarity centered on efforts to conserve the biological and cultural heritage of this place in the context of deep histories and ongoing realities of both colonization and militarization. In telling this story, this chapter aims to draw out how the history of struggles over this valley was shaped by a particular snail species, Achatinella mustelina: by its specific evolution, life history, and ecology. In so doing, it aims to highlight the importance of multispecies solidarities, of the particular possibilities that different, other-than-human, beings open up and foreclose as allies in struggles for more livable worlds.
For Milinda Banerjee and Jelle J.P. Wouters (2022), Subaltern Studies 2.0: Being against the Capitalocene, Prickly Paradigm Press, Chicago. With Essays by Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Marisol de la Cadena, Thom van Dooren, and Suraj Yengde.