This is a companion piece to an essay that I wrote for the Sydney Review of Books on Donna Haraway’s latest book and some of her recent talks and lectures. I put together an edit of a number of podcasts that discuss various aspects of aphids and their ecologies. The idea is to get some sense of the complexity of ecological forces that are operating on the aphid and that shape its evolution in various ways.
In the essay on Haraway I cite the study of aphids and their symbiotic relationships with bacteria and other organisms as a means to continue to think with the science that Haraway discusses. Here’s a short sample:
Taking Staying with the Trouble on its own terms involves doing a bit of Chthulonic delving into the art and science that Haraway is thinking with. One of the questions here is how these materials help Haraway to articulate an ethics of ‘living and dying together on a damaged earth’.
I understand that aphids might be a somewhat traumatic subject for the gardeners out there but once we put aside our anthropocentric concerns we can see how aphids have become a powerful model system that can allow us to start to imagine something of the remarkable complexity and specificity of ecological relations that exist in and among diverse organisms all over the planet. I think is kind of understanding can help us to articulate the ethics of ‘living and dying together on a damaged earth’.
Download the audio of this podcast. (right click and ‘save link as’).
These are the episodes I recycled to create this podcast:
-Nancy Moran: The Incredible Shrinking Microbe, Meet the Scientist Episode 55
–Blurring the line between organelle and endosymbiont, This Week in Microbiology Episode 85
–Hacking aphid behavior, This Week in Virology Episode 70
–Betrayal and compromise, This Week in Microbiology Episode 82