Uncommon Sense

Nature, with Catherine Oliver

July 14, 2023 Catherine Oliver Season 2 Episode 5
Uncommon Sense
Nature, with Catherine Oliver
Show Notes

It is increasingly accepted that we cannot take nature for granted. But do we even know what nature is? Catherine Oliver brings her expertise in geography and sociology – plus her love of chickens – to the latest Uncommon Sense to reflect on what’s at stake in how we think of and relate to “nature” – and how we might do better. Along the way, she considers what happens when neoliberalism shapes what “good” nature is – whether in regeneration or meddling with metabolisms.

Alexis and Rosie also ask Catherine: how might the chicken be “thriving” yet also “extinct”? What potential is there in speaking of the “more than” and “beyond” human? And what responsibility do social scientists have for the age-old binaries that split humans from wider nature?

Plus: a celebration of Andrea Arnold’s “Cow”, Margaret Atwood’s “MaddAddam” trilogy and – Alexis’ favourite – “Captain Planet”.

Guest: Catherine Oliver
Hosts: Rosie Hancock, Alexis Hieu Truong
Executive Producer: Alice Bloch
Sound Engineer: David Crackles
Music: Joe Gardner
Artwork: Erin Aniker

Find more about Uncommon Sense at The Sociological Review.

Episode Resources

Catherine, Rosie, Alexis and our producer Alice recommended

  • Andrea Arnold’s film “Cow”
  • Margaret Atwood’s “MaddAddam” book trilogy
  • TV series “Captain Planet and the Planeteers”
  • Evia Wylk’s essay collection “Death by Landscape”

From The Sociological Review

By Catherine Oliver

Further reading

  • “Sand Talk: How Indigenous Thinking Can Save” – Tyson Yunkaporta
  • “Toward equality: Including non-human animals in studies of lived religion and nonreligion” – Lori G. Beaman, Lauren Strumos
  • “A History of the World in Seven Cheap Things: A Guide to Capitalism, Nature, and the Future of the Planet” – Raj Patel, Jason W. Moore
  • “The Chicken Chronicles: A Memoir” – Alice Walker
  • “The Chicken Book” – Page Smith, Charles Daniel

Read more about the work of Zoe Todd, Adam Searle, Anna Tsing, Anna Guasco, Paige Colton and The Care Collective.