The nature-culture paradox / Marguerite S. Shaffer and Phoebe S.K. Young -- Animals -- Beasts of the southern wild : slaveholders, slaves, and other animals in Charles Ball's Slavery in the United States / Thomas G. Andrews -- Stuffed : nature and science on display / John Herron -- Digit's legacy : reconsidering the human- nature encounter in a global world / Marguerite S. Shaffer -- Bodies -- The Gulick family and the nature of adolescence / Susan A. Miller -- Children of light : the nature and culture of suntanning / Catherine Cocks -- Dr. Spock is worried : visual media and the emotional history of American environmentalism / Finis Dunaway -- Places -- Prototyping natures : technology, labor, and art on atomic frontiers / Andrew Kirk -- River rats in the archive : the Colorado River and the nature of texts / Annie Gilbert Coleman -- Rocks of ages : the decadent desert and sepulchral time / Frieda Knobloch -- Politics -- Winning the war at Manzanar : environmental patriotism and the Japanese American incarceration / Connie Y. Chiang -- Unthinkable visibility : pigs, pork, and the spectacle of killing and meat / Brett Mizelle -- "Bring tent" : the occupy movement and the politics of public nature / Phoebe S.K. Young.
We exist at a moment during which the entangled challenges facing the human and natural worlds confront us at every turn, whether at the most basic level of survival--health, sustenance, shelter--or in relation to our comfort-driven desires. As demand for resources both necessary and unnecessary increases, understanding how nature and culture are interconnected matters more than ever. Bridging the fields of environmental history and American studies, Rendering Nature examines the surprising interconnections between nature and culture in distinct places, times, and contexts over the course of American history. Divided into four themes--animals, bodies, places, and politics--the essays span a diverse array of locations and periods: from antebellum slave society to atomic testing sites, from gorillas in Central Africa to river runners in the Grand Canyon, from white sun-tanning enthusiasts to Japanese American incarcerees, from taxidermists at the 1893 World's Fair to tents on Wall Street in 2011. Together they offer new perspectives and conceptual tools that can help us better understand the historical realities and current paradoxes of our environmental predicament.