Ursula K. Heise

After Nature - Species extinction and Modern Culture

(German title: Nach der Natur)
ca. 160 pages
Ursula K. Heise
Foto: Ursula K. Heise
© Barron Bixler

Ursula K. Heise, born in 1960, is Professor of English and Director of the Program for Modern Thought and Literature at Stanford University.

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The extinction of species from the perspective of cultural science.

In this essay, Ursula K. Heise makes the case that species extinction presents not just scientific and political challenges, but also cultural ones. We are confronted today with a decline in biodiversity that is unprecedented in both scale and rapidity. In art, cinema and literature, extinct or dying species are being interpreted as symbols of a crisis in modernisation, in which man as a biological species is trying to rethink itself. Heise shows how, in the age of globalisation, old narratives are being reworked creatively, allowing a »post-human« image of mankind as a cosmopolitan animal to emerge in the work of scientists, artists, writers and directors.