HYBRID: Do Whales Judge Us: Interspecies History and Ethics with Dr. Bathsheba R. Demuth

Bowhead whales have been known to three groups along the Bering Strait over the past two centuries: Indigenous Yupik and Inupiaq whalers, capitalist commercial whalers, and communist industrial whalers. This talk explores how each of these groups imagined different normative relationships with whales and how these ideas shaped interactions between human hunters and whales, and the whales’ own adaptions.

White waves crashing on the beach on a grey day.

Photo: Florence Durney

About the speaker

Bathsheba R. Demuth. Photo: Brown University. 

Dr. Bathsheba Demuth is an environmental historian, specializing in the lands and seas of the Russian and North American Arctic. Her interest in northern environments and cultures began when she was 18 and moved north of the Arctic Circle in the Yukon. For over two years, she mushed huskies, hunted caribou, fished for salmon, tracked bears, and otherwise learned to survive in the taiga and tundra. In the years since, she has lived in and studied Arctic communities across Eurasia and North America. From the archive to the dog sled, she is interested in the how the histories of people, ideas, places, and non-human species intersect. 

About the collaboratory

The Fluid Dynamics collaboratory explores the unique making, unmaking, and fluctuation of boundaries in marine spaces. Inspired by case studies such as marine sovereignty claims based on albatross excrement deposits, the territorial range changes of arctic seals with sea ice break up, and the impacts of sea level rise on small island states we will examine the history of marine territorialization and place-making from a diverse set of perspectives to ask a question about the present-future: what is happening to fluid marine boundaries as the global ocean ecosystem destabilizes?

Published Nov. 3, 2021 2:49 PM - Last modified Apr. 21, 2022 11:15 AM