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Features

Outside the Virus Lab

Scientists have pursued the origins of Covid-19 from the very beginning of the pandemic. In February 2020 the Wuhan Institute of Virology, one of China’s top virus laboratories, published research comparing the SARS-Cov-2 virus to a range of other coronaviruses held in their own collection. Based on the phylogenetic comparison of genome sequences, the Wuhan Institute found

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Books

Book forum: Julie Livington’s Self-Devouring Growth

This article is part of the following series:

This book forum brings together seven scholars to discuss Julie Livingston’s Self-Devouring Growth: A Planetary Parable as Told from Southern Africa (Duke 2019), a story of what grows alongside “growth” and the price of “a good life.” Botswana offers lessons that are peopled and elemental; lessons that tug between the local and the global. Livingston shows how water, food, transportation…

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Books

Saving Time

I like reading Julie Livingston’s Self-Devouring Growth as a push against the consumption of modernist time — that is, against the suspension of historical flux, imaginative possibility, and alter-social development. That may be an odd way to frame this tangible, original, and deeply materialist book. Its pages warn of the disappearance of substances like water, sand, milk, and minerals through …

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Books

All Roads Lead to Ruin: Terminality and Julie Livingston’s Self-Devouring Growth

It is a testament to the distilled clarity and prescience of Julie Livingston’s parable of a book that its title, Self-Devouring Growth, can strike one immediately as both so true and suddenly so evident that everything that follows in its slim 120 odd pages will then appear as the confirmation of all that the title had come to pre-organize …

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Books

A reply

I am immensely grateful to everyone who took the time to engage Self-Devouring Growth for this forum and to Todd Meyers and everyone at Somatosphere for the work they do.  Such work is always an act of generosity. But that is especially the case now, when everyone is already profoundly over-taxed after this bitter and grueling year of loss. The …

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Lectures

The life of the coral body

This article is part of the following series:

Life comes apart on the reef. Changes to ocean chemistry and temperature—generated by the fossil-hunger of militarism, extractivism, and industrialism—break open coral worlds on Australia’s northeast coast. Encountering death’s ascendency on the Great Barrier Reef, scientists seek to track coral life by descending within: to study limestone structures, the tiny polyps that build them, and the microscopic symbiotic algae that …

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