Douglas Pimlott Memorial Lecture 2022 - Do Whales Judge Us: Interspecies History and Ethics with Dr. Bathsheba Demuth

When and Where

Friday, November 04, 2022 12:00 pm to 2:00 pm


Dr. Bathsheba Demuth


About the Lecture:

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. Each imagined different normative relationships with whales, tied to visions of time, history, and the future. This talk explores how those ideas shaped interactions between human hunters and whales, and what we can discern of whales' own adaptations and— perhaps—ethical responses to their pursuers.

About the Speaker:

Bathsheba Demuth is the Dean’s Associate Professor of History and Environment and Society at Brown University, where she specializes in the lands and seas of the Russian and North American Arctic. Her multiple-prize winning first book, Floating Coast: An Environmental History of the Bering Strait (W.W. Norton) was named a Nature Top Ten Book of 2019 and Best Book of 2019 by NPR, Kirkus Reviews, and Library Journal among others. Demuth holds a BA and MA from Brown University, and an MA and PhD from the University of California, Berkeley. Her writing has appeared in publications from The American Historical Review to The New Yorker.

More on the Douglas Pimlott Memorial Lecture:

The School of the Environment hosts a series of Memorial Lectures that honour the memories and legacies of individuals who have had close ties with the School. The themes of these lectures are chosen in line with the areas of work these individuals pursued during their lives, and to provoke lively thought, debate, and conversation on current research and action in those fields.

Douglas Pimlott, who is being honoured in this lecture, was the first Director of the Environmental Studies Program at Innis College, a precursor to the current School of the Environment, and held positions with the Faculty of Forestry, the Department of Landscape Architecture, and the Department of Zoology. Prior to his work at the University of Toronto, he worked in wildlife research and management with the Newfoundland Government, and on wolf research with the Ontario Department of Lands and Forests. Professor Pimlott’s teaching was primarily in ecology, resource management, and environmental issues. He is best known for his writings on wolves, parks, and wilderness issues, and for his work on environmental matters in the Arctic.

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