Issue #2

The second issue of Springs includes peer-reviewed essays on sharks and Monarchs, historical analyses, creative nonfiction, and a poem about an earthworm that reminds us to look more closely. Placing the “acrid orange blanket” within environmental history, Tom Griffiths offers insights about Australia in a warming world. In “Monarchs of the Great Plains,” Sara M. Gregg explores the “interwoven life cycles of milkweed and Monarch” butterflies. Sumana Roy reads her poem, “Earthworm,” which serves as a reminder of the wondrous power and fragility in the everyday. In “Chicago’s Temple of Steel,” J. R. McNeill traces iron ore from the Precambrian period through the steelworks of the industrial era. Miles Powell dives into sportfishing practices, literature, biology, and ecology in “Fishing for Sharks.” Jane Carruthers provides a historical overview of the challenges thwarting a transition to renewable energy in South Africa. “Ecological Civilization,” by Donald Worster describes a concept with roots in Western philosophy and Chinese traditions with relevance to our contemporary planetary consciousness. Elin Kelsey reflects on her encounters with the natural world from dusk to dawn in “Why I Sleep Outside.” Shen Hou looks across the Pacific and sees “an invisible bond” in “Cities by the Sea.”

Australia Burning

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21 minutes

In November 2019, as forest fires worked their way south along the Great Dividing Range, I walked for a week in the Australian Alps. The wild granite ...

Monarchs of the Great Plains: Plant Power and Colonial Legacies in North America

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17 minutes

Resplendent in shades of orange and black as they float along the breeze, migratory Monarch butterflies have ridden the gusts of transformation over t...
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Issue #1

The inaugural issue of Springs begins with a glass bottle and a few leaves of grass. In “The World as a Wardian Case,” Kate Brown considers the connections between plants, biospheres, and the politics of breathing. Reflecting on lead-white pigment in art history, Antonia Alampi introduces how toxicity intersects with capitalism, imperialism, and race. On Lord Howe Island, Cameron Muir has a run-in with a nearly extinct species: the woodhen. Spotlighting “twenty-first century ecological politics,” Sophia Kalantzakos wonders: “Can Brussels and Beijing get it right?” In “An Otherworldly Species: Joshua Trees and the Conservation-Climate Dilemma” Thomas M. Lekan discusses what he considers a false choice between climate protection and conservation. In “Life at the Landhaus,” Samantha Walton describes how on walks with other fellows “thoughts strung out like threads across the paths” they traversed together. Sule Emmanuel Egya weaves together a personal love letter to trees with accounts of having witnessed extractive wood logging in Gombe, Nigeria. Franz-Josef Brüggemeier challenges coal’s reputation as dull in “Coal, War, and Peace in Twentieth Century Europe.” And María Valeria Berros and Rita Brara propose “A World Parliament of Rivers.”

The World as a Wardian Case

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21 minutes

In 1829, Nathanial Bagshaw Ward, a London doctor, placed the pupa of a sphinx moth, some dirt, and a few leaves in a glass bottle and clamped on a lid...

Deadly Affairs: An Art Exhibition about Toxicity

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14 minutes

Sometime in 2018 I joined a tour of the Uffizi Gallery in Florence. Guided by art historian Ingrid Greenfield, it highlighted the role of trade betwee...
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