Join us for the 10th session of Thema Talks with Adam Bobbette.
This presentation is about the mass extinction of birds today. It is about how we live with and make sense of it. It will take up this issue through a discussion of song bird competitions in Indonesia in which men teach song birds to sing the songs of extinct species. Based on fieldwork with bird trainers and at competitions, it will discuss the relationships between men and birds, the economics of the caged bird trade, and environmental destruction. From another angle, it will also discuss the history of the study of bird language by western scientists and the ways that bird song has become a model for understanding the development of human language and communication. Both of these stories are about interspecies relationships and knowledge, nostalgia, and remorse, within a context of extinction.
Adam Bobbette is a geographer and writer. He is completing his PhD at the University of Cambridge and has written for the Times Literary Supplement, Cabinet, N+1, The Cambridge Quarterly, and the King’s Review. He is currently completing two books, an edited collection about the politics of geology, and a cultural history of nature forecasting.