Grant TypeHunt Postdoctoral Fellowship
Institutional AffiliationMount Saint Vincent U.
Grant numberGr. 10373
Approve DateOctober 11, 2022
Project TitleGonzález-Duarte, Columba Mount Saint Vincent U.) "Tied mobilities: An Ethnography of Human-Butterfly Migration in North America"
The iconic monarch butterfly, known for its epic North-South migration, is today in decline despite numerous efforts to protect it. Thinking with the monarch, this book provides new insight into this phenomenon, arguing that human-monarch relations can help us reimagine North American politics amidst urgent ecological and social challenges. Based on a two-year multi-sited ethnography that tracked the butterfly along its migratory journey through Canada, the United States, and Mexico, the volume claims that the monarch crisis results from a North-South economic bloc that has deepened the exploitation of both people and non-human nature. It does so by revealing associations between actors and events that are often viewed as disconnected, such as monarchs and Mexican migrants, Indigenous displacement and milkweed disappearance, and conservation and communication technologies. Exploring the variety of human and non-human actors and knowledges and affects that have ‘coproduced’ past and present North America, the book reconceptualizes the monarch and the continent itself. This approach advances work on multispecies ethnography and decolonization, as well as recent debates on the Anthropocene and multispecies care. The book concludes with a plea for a new ecological philosophy that can support more just outcomes for North America’s humans and nonhumans alike.