Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Of Pollinators and Forests: A Multispecies Ethnography of the Biopolitical Culture of Pollinators in Hawai'i
by Greeson, Kimberley M., Ph.D., Prescott College, 2017, 221; 10288361
Abstract (Summary)

Due in part to its geographic isolation and unique climate, Hawai‘i has a high number of endemic species and is considered a biodiversity hotspot. At the same time, these characteristics make Hawai‘i vulnerable to species loss. To protect endangered species, conservationists focus on preserving Hawai‘i’s native ecosystems through invasive species control and habitat restoration. Native forests are central to Hawai‘i’s watershed, provide habitat for endemic pollinators, and foster bioculture. Pollinators are integral for ecosystem health as well as for human spaces, and worldwide pollinators have been on the decline. Since pollinators and their flowering counterparts are embedded in human lives, this research challenges traditional conservation approaches by contextualizing more-than-human entanglements within social, political, and cultural milieu. The purpose of this work is to draw from posthumanism, new materialism, and indigenous discourse to examine the biopolitical issues in which Hawaii’s endemic pollinators situate to re-envision questions and ethics of conservation. The researcher followed endemic pollinators through native forests to explore the entangled relationship between humans, pollinators, and forests examining the question, what is the biopolitical culture of endemic pollinators in Hawai’i? This multi-sited, multi-method research used a mix of autoethnography, participant observations and interviews, visual data, and archival and biocultural accounts to articulate emergent findings. The findings of this dissertation discuss the nuances of multispecies entanglements and mattering, politics of biological conservation and extinction, and material-discursive understandings of place. This study suggests human/more-than-human encounters are grounded in reciprocity and responsibility and co-create place.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Caniglia, Noel C.
Commitee: Moore, Lisa-Jean, Parajuli, Pramod, TallBear, Kim
School: Prescott College
Department: Sustainability Education
School Location: United States -- Arizona
Source: DAI-A 78/11(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Conservation, Education, Sustainability
Keywords: Biopolitics, Decolonizing methodology, Hawaii, Multispecies ethnography, Place, Posthumanism
Publication Number: 10288361
ISBN: 9780355058536
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