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ICCS 43 Why the Caged Bird Sings: Rethinking the Anthropocene with Gallus gallus

Author/Speaker|Jeffrey Nicolaisen

Publication Date|2022-07


Gallus gallus, commonly known in American English as a chicken (G. gallus domesticus) is now the most common bird in the world. Because the timing of a breeding-induced deformation and rapid population increase of G. gallus corresponded with the explosion of the first nuclear bombs, the Anthropocene Working Group has suggested G. gallus as a potential stratigraphic indicator species for the Anthropocene. I argue an epoch named the Galluscene rather than the Anthropocene would disrupt a narrative of human exceptionalism that both is partially to blame for the ecological crises humanity faces and also implicit within the prospective term Anthropocene.
Author's Bio:
Jeffrey Nicolaisen is currently a Ministry of Science and Technology International Postdoctoral Fellow at National Yang Ming Chiao Tung University in Taiwan. His research uses Taiwanese traditions and teachings to rethink networks of human and nonhuman agency and the ethics of multi-species interaction between Han and indigenous people, dogs, and monkeys in Taiwan. Nicolaisen was a Duke-DKU Global Fellow at Duke Kunshan University in 2020-2021, a Charlotte Newcombe Fellow at Duke University in 2018-2019, and Fulbright-Hays Fellow at Taipei Medical University in 2017-2018. Prior to pursuing an academic career, he worked as an environmental consultant with the global sustainability consulting group Environmental Resources Management.

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