Storytelling Animals

Storytelling Animals

Storytelling Animals is a green new podcast where we use books to help make sense of the ecological crisis – and think about what comes next. For most episodes, host Dayton Martindale will interview authors about their new or recent fiction and nonfiction, and talk about how we might build better relations with each other and our fellow creatures. Sometimes, he'll review books or talk with academics and activists, too. Patreon subscribers at all tiers get early access to locked episodes, and Patreon subscribers above $7/month can also join a subscribers-only book club hosted by Dayton to dig deeper into these ideas and discuss how they might inform political action. Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

Episodes

January 25, 2023 47 min

January 25, 2023, is acclaimed writer Virginia Woolf's 141st birthday! To celebrate, I invited scholar of modernist literature Bonnie Kime Scott to talk about how animals and nature show up in Woolf's work, and how novels can represent other consciousnesses.


To read Woolf's "The Death of a Moth": https://www.sanjuan.edu/cms/lib8/CA01902727/Centricity/Domain/3981/Death%20of%20A%20Moth-Virginia%20Woolf%20copy.pdf

Fo...

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Martha C. Nussbaum is a professor of law and ethics at the University of Chicago, and the author most recently of Justice for Animals: Our Collective Responsibility. On this episode we discuss animal capabilities, the ethics of killing, and how the law can better protect other species.


For more on the book: https://www.simonandschuster.com/books/Justice-for-Animals/Martha-C-Nussbaum/9781982102500

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December 20, 2022 49 min

I read 78 books this year, the most in my adult life, and I want to share some of my favorites, especially some that I didn't get a chance to cover on the podcast! I pick my favorites in the following categories: best overall; 2022 release (fiction); 2022 release (nonfiction); older release (nonfiction); older release (novel); older release (short stories). Plus I list some honorable mentions and share some recommendations from...

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With CRISPR technology, it is easier than ever for geneticists to alter human DNA, make deadlier pathogens, render mosquitoes infertile, and make other dramatic interventions into organisms and ecosystems. But the science and the ethics of all this is far from straightforward. Biologist Matthew Cobb, author of As Gods: A Moral History of the Genetic Age, guides us through decades of genetic engineering, the strengths and weaknesses...

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Rachel E. Gross is the author of Vagina Obscura: An Anatomical Voyage, depicting how a new generation of (mostly) women scientists are changing how we understand female (and other) bodies. For more on the book: https://wwnorton.com/books/vagina-obscura


Support this podcast with a monthly donation on Patreon--help reach 30 supporters by episode 40! https://patreon.com/storytellingpod

This podcast is a member of the iRoar network of pr...

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Support this podcast with a monthly donation on Patreon--help reach 30 supporters by episode 40! https://patreon.com/storytellingpod


This week's guest is Thom van Dooren, author of A World in a Shell: Snail Stories for a Time of Extinction. We talk about the beauty, wonder, and mystery of snails, and how their worlds are threatened. For more on the book: https://mitpress.mit.edu/9780262047029/a-world-in-a-shell/


Subscribe to the ...

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Support this podcast with a monthly donation on Patreon--help reach 30 supporters by episode 40! https://patreon.com/storytellingpod


This week's guest is Dan Chodorkoff, cofounder of the Institute for Social Ecology and author of the new novel, Sugaring Down. We talk about the Vermont commune lives of his novel's protagonists, as well as his own experience in the 1960s and his work on social ecology with prolific writer and ...

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Support this podcast with a monthly donation on Patreon--help reach 30 supporters by episode 40: https://patreon.com/storytellingpod


Today's guest is fiction writer Talia Lakshmi Kolluri, author of the new collection What We Fed to the Manticore. In our interview we discuss animal senses, meaning and purpose, as well as the research she did to learn to see the world through nonhuman eyes. Toward the end she reads an excerpt of o...

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On today's episode I explore three topics from recent climate and environmental headlines: the devastating flooding in Pakistan, debates over permitting reform, and how single-use plastic bags compare to reusable ones. Below are some relevant links.


On Pakistan:

https://www.latimes.com/opinion/story/2022-09-03/pakistan-floods-sindh-balochistan-climate-change-reparations

https://theconversation.com/pakistan-floods-what-role-did-cli...

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With a new Lord of the Rings television series out, I thought it was high time to explore the powerful environmental themes of Middle-Earth. Alongisde Tolkien expert Tom Emanuel, I dig deep into Treebeard, Tom Bombadil, power's corrupting force, and finding courage to resist in the face of overwhelming odds. We also briefly give our takes on the first two episodes of The Rings of Power. Whether you have multiple dogeared copies...

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This week's guest is Ron Broglio, English professor at Arizona State University and author of the book Animal Revolution. We talk about the myriad ways in which nonhuman creatures through sand in the gears of the capitalist machine, and how we might respond to better share the earth.


Learn more about the book here: https://www.upress.umn.edu/book-division/books/animal-revolution

Listen to my prior interview with Matt Bell, who Br...

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The Inflation Reduction Act (IRA), the biggest climate legislation in US history, just passed Congress. What is the good, the bad, and the ugly of the bill? How did we get here, and what is next for the climate movement? I spoke with Johanna Bozuwa, executive director of the Climate and Community Project (CCP).


Read the CCP's analysis of the IRA here: https://www.climateandcommunity.org/inflation-reduction-act


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Today's guests are philosophers Alice Crary and Lori Gruen, authors of the new book Animal Crisis: A New Critical Theory. In it, they argue that the dominant approaches to animal ethics--whether utilitarian or rights-based-- treat animals too much as abstractions and often fail to engage with the political, economic, and social systems that sustain oppression among humans and other creatures alike. To grow an alternative, they ...

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Am I conscious? Yes. How about you, or a chimpanzee or a parrot? Almost definitely. What about an oak tree, a bacterium, an electron, or God? In The Book of Minds: How To Understand Ourselves and Other Beings, From Animals to AI to Aliens, science writer Philip Ball explores the minds or mind-like qualities that seem to exist in the world, and how best to make sense of it all when the science of subjective experience remains so unc...

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In T.C.Boyle's 2021 novel Talk To Me, one of the main characters is a chimpanzee. It's a fascinating study in how humans respond to other apes, and an ambitious experiment in imagining what it might be like to be one. Using the novel as a starting point, in this solo episode I explore whether learning to love chimpanzees can help break down the human/animal divide, and how Boyle's portrayal of Sam the chimpanzee differs...

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Today marks the 205th birthday of Henry David Thoreau, and to celebrate, I brought on Alda Balthrop-Lewis, author of Thoreau's Religion: Walden Woods, Social Justice, and the Politics of Asceticism. Why (if at all) does Thoreau still matter? How did he engage with the political issues of his time, in particular slavery and the advances of industrial capitalism? Do the ascetic practices he engaged in at Walden Pond have any less...

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Today's topic is "degrowth": What does it mean? Is it actually desirable? How could we achieve it? And do we really need to confront economic growth if we want to fight climate change and build a just, sustainable society? My guest is Aaron Vansintjan, co-author of The Future Is Degrowth: A Guide to a World Beyond Capitalism. The interview starts at 3:41.


Learn more about the book here: https://www.versobooks.com/books/3...

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Today's guest is paleontologist Steve Brusatte, author of the new book The Rise and Reign of the Mammals: A New History, From the Shadow of the Dinosaurs to Us, previously the author of The Rise and Fall of the Dinosaurs, and also a paleontology consultant on the new movie Jurassic World: Dominion. We talk about what he calls "the story of us": the long history of our mammal ancestors from even before the dinosaurs, the...

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Today I talk with David M. Peña-Guzmán about his new book When Animals Dream: The Hidden World of Animal Consciousness. David is associate professor of humanities and liberal studies at San Francisco State University and the cohost of Overthink podcast.

Learn more about the book here: https://press.princeton.edu/books/hardcover/9780691220093/when-animals-dream


Sign up for my free weekly newsletter: https://apple6.aweb.page/p/de4ee96...

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My guest for the 20th(!) episode is science journalist Hannah Seo--we talked about her reporting on the tragic demise of the Christmas Island forest skink and the Bramble Cay melomys, two extinct species she recently eulogized for the guardian. How did they die? Could we have stopped it? What was it like for the scientists who watched them fade away?


Hannah's extinction obituary of the skink: https://www.theguardian.com/environm...

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