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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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