Forskarseminarium: "From Provisions to Pest: Invasive Goats, Care,..." med Emily Wanderer


Datum: måndag 11 mars 2024

Tid: 13.00 – 15.00

Plats: B600 via Zoom

Forskarseminarium: "From Provisions to Pest: Invasive Goats, Care, and Eradication in Mexico " med Emily Wanderer

Zoom-länk till seminariet:  


Isla Guadalupe, a large island 241 kilometers off the coast of Baja California, is in many ways an out of the way place. And yet, despite (and in fact partially because of) its remoteness, it is an ideal place to examine biodiversity dilemmas. In this talk I track the fate of the island’s herds of goats. These goats were the lively, embodied traces of historical human economic activity and worldviews. Left by whalers in the 1800s, who regarded the island as a desolate wasteland, goats were intended to make the island into a more fruitful refreshment station. Over the years, the goats became an important resource for sailors and then for consumption on the mainland. However, by the 21st century, these animals had been rebranded as pests in need of eradication. Analyzing a project to eradicate invasive goats, I consider the complicated relationships that emerged between humans and animals. Through historical and ethnographic work, I analyze how changing understandings and perceptions of the value of island ecologies affected the fates of animals on Guadalupe as the island was variously configured as pasture, laboratory, and refuge for valuable, endangered species. Attending to the history of goats on Guadalupe, and the changes they brought about to the landscape, and their transforming relationships with humans is a way of thinking about the agency of nonhuman actors, and differences in interspecies relationships over time.


Emily Wanderer is an anthropologist of science at the University of Pittsburgh. Her research addresses the relationships between humans and other life forms, diverse practices of knowledge production, and the making and use of technology. Her first book, The Life of a Pest, is a study of the politics of nature in Mexico, examining why and how different species are variously protected or exterminated to improve life as a whole. Her current research takes up the convergence of technology and wildlife in the Anthropocene, investigating the development and consequences of AI, machine learning, and tracking technology for non-human animal life.

BIOrdinary 2024 Seminar Series