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'I was called to flying-foxes. My research questions led me into multispecies ethnographic work involving wildlife carers and academically trained scientists in eastern Australia. The people I met were at the front line in the work of holding flying-foxes back from the edge of extinction. I continued to visit the north, and I revisited my notebooks from several decades of research with Aboriginal people. The research was exhilarating, and then again at times deeply disheartening. I was to encounter more passion, intimacy, cruelty, horror, complexity, generosity and wild beauty than I could ever have imagined. Living with flying-foxes, I came to understand, takes us straight to the heart of every big question facing Earth life in the 21st century.' In this deeply personal book, the last one she wrote before hear death in 2018, Deborah Bird Rose explores the shimmer of life - the iridescent pulse of beauty and power, the processes of transition and transformation - that flows across and between generations. Grounded within this insight, she develops and advocates for an ethics of attention that is in the world within everyday practices, and in this case for and with flying foxes and their worlds.
About the Author
Deborah Bird Rose (1946-2018) was a world-renowned anthropologist and leading figure in the emergence and shaping of the interdisciplinary environmental humanities. Over the course of a career spanning almost 40 years, Rose published many widely read, cited, award-winning and often-reprinted books, including Hidden Histories (1991), Dingo Makes Us Human (1992), Nourishing Terrains (1996), Country of the Heart (2002), Reports from a Wild Country (2004) and Wild Dog Dreaming (2011). She also edited numerous significant volumes, including Aboriginal Australians and Christian Missions (1988), Manifesto for Living in the Anthropocene (2015), and Extinction Studies(2017), and co-founded the journal Environmental Humanities. Through this work Rose made major contributions in a range of important fields: from the environmental humanities, and the anthropology of indigenous Australia, to extinction studies, animal and multispecies studies, and philosophies of ethics, justice, religion, temporality and place. Rose was a Fellow of the Australian Social Sciences Academy (ASSA) and was for most of her career based at the Australian National University (1995-2008) and Macquarie University (2008-2013).