New Book – Across Species and Cultures: Whales, Humans, and Pacific Worlds

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Ryan Tucker Jones and Angela Wanhalla, eds. Across Species and Cultures: Whales, Humans, and Pacific Worlds. Honolulu,. Hawaii: University of Hawaii Press, 2022.


Cover of Across Species and Cultures

Whales and humans have shared a powerful and often difficult history over the past two centuries. Nowhere has this been truer than in the Pacific Ocean. In this ocean full of whales, colonial histories were built through whaling, science was transformed in its encounters with the creatures, and new Indigenous futures are being wrought in partnership with rebounding whale stocks. Across Species and Cultures: Whales, Humans, and Pacific Worlds is the first book to detail and integrate these histories, ranging widely around the ocean to pull together intertwined developments from Alaska to Aotearoa New Zealand, from Japan to Mexico, and in many places in between. The volume’s contributors are diverse, representing environmental history, Indigenous viewpoints, Japanese scholarship, and the perspectives of modern whale science. What all convey is whales’ power to shape human worlds in the Pacific and the surprising turns that humans’ connections with the creatures have taken. 

Feature Image: Manila lines bring whale to surface. Two six-inch manila lines bring their mammal cargo to the surface after the whale has been harpooned. The gunner at bottom of photo is maneuvering his “catch” carefully. Circa 1935-1945. Farm Security Administration – Office of War Information photograph collection (Library of Congress). LC-USW33- 029092-C [P&P].
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Ryan Tucker Jones and Angela Wanhalla

Ryan Tucker Jones is Ann Swindells Professor of History at the University of Oregon. He is the author of Empire of Extinction: Russians and the North Pacific’s Strange Beasts of the Sea (Oxford UP) and Red Leviathan: The Secret History of Soviet Whaling (Chicago UP); Angela Wannhalla (Ngāi Te Ruahikihiki, Ngāi Tahu, Pākehā) is a professor of history at the University of Otago in New Zealand.

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