My work is located at the intersections of cultural geography, animal geography, environmental history, the environmental humanities, and conservation social science. Broadly, my research examines perceptions of predatory species and the ways in which these animals are valued within human societies. Currently, I am finishing work on my monograph, which examines the ways in which western hemisphere megafauna (specifically jaguars) were taken up into global circulations of knowledge and commodity in systems of empire in the 17th-19th centuries.
My current research is concerned with the co-mingled precarity of human and wildlife populations in the Anthropocene, with particular attention on the entangled vulnerabilities of marginalized human and wildlife communities. Currently, my work is located at the U.S.-Mexico border, where I examine the overlapping concerns and vulnerabilities of communities of color and those of rare terrestrial mammalian predators, specifically ocelots and jaguars. The borderlands region in the United States faces intense ecological stress, as efforts to further fortify and militarize the region place both human and wildlife populations in increasingly physically and politically vulnerable positions. My work seeks to identify ways in which a broader notion of imagined community can be cultivated in this place, facilitating the creation of a multispecies justice movement that accounts for the needs and values of a complex web species within a "cosmopolitics of commonality." Here, I suggest, we must consider the importance of cultural work that can cultivate affective logics that foster environmental solidarity. I highlight work through the public arts, community engagement activities, and social media work to facilitate these new notions of community.
Image: Ping Zhu
Copyright © Sharon Wilcox. All rights reserved.