Fleck Prize 2021: Thom van Dooren
The Oslo School of Environmental Humanities sends its most sincere congratulations to Thom van Dooren for being awarded the 2021 Fleck Prize for his book The Wake of Crows: Living and Dying in Shared Worlds (Columbia University Press 2019).
The Society for Social Studies of Science has awarded the Fleck Prize of 2021 to Thom van Dooren for his stellar book on the interspecies relations between humans and crows, The Wake of Crows: Living and Dying in Shared Worlds (Columbia University Press 2019):
"The Wake of Crows is an exploration of the entangled lives of humans and crows. Focusing on five key sites, Thom van Dooren asks how we might live well with crows in a changing world. He explores contemporary possibilities for shared life emerging in the context of ongoing processes of globalization, colonization, urbanization, and climate change. Moving between these diverse contexts, this book tells stories of extermination and extinction, alongside fragile efforts to better understand and make room for one another. Grounded in the careful work of paying attention to some very particular crows and their people, The Wake of Crows is an effort to imagine and put into practice a multispecies ethics. In so doing, van Dooren explores some of the possibilities that still exist for living and dying well on this damaged planet."
Thom van Dooren has also written Flight Ways (2014) and co-authored Extinction Studies: Stories of Time, Death, and Generations (2017). His extensive academic background is a most valuable asset to the Oslo School of Environmental Humanities and we are lucky to have him with us for the coming year!
"It is an honour to be awarded the 2021 Ludwik Fleck Prize. The Wake of Crows, like so much of my other work, has been profoundly influenced by many of the other books that have previously received this distinction. It is truly humbling to think that the crows might now be keeping such company.
I’d like to thank the many colleagues and friends, within and beyond the vibrant 4S community, who provided invaluable support and feedback – this book is so much better, and the process of writing it was made so much richer, by your care and insight. The research that became this book was generously funded by the Australian Research Council and the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, Germany. I’d also like to offer my sincere thanks to the Fleck Prize Committee for taking on this huge and demanding task in such difficult times.
The Wake of Crows is an exploration of the challenges and possibilities of living and dying well with others, human and not, in a period of escalating planetary transformations. Taking that most remarkable group of birds, the crows, as its principal guides, the book seeks to develop an attentive, situated, and responsive practice of multispecies ethics. This is an approach that emerges at the lively intersection between feminist science and technology studies, the environmental humanities, multispecies studies, and philosophical ethology. These are fields that are already influencing and shaping each other, and that have been doing so for some time, but that still have much more to offer one another. It is my sincere hope that this book, and this award, might contribute in some small way to these ongoing exchanges." (Source: Society for Social Studies of Science).