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Red Coats and Wild BirdsHow Military Ornithologists and Migrant Birds Shaped Empire$
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Kirsten A. Greer

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9781469649832

Published to North Carolina Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.5149/northcarolina/9781469649832.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM UNIVERSITY OF NORTH CAROLINA PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.northcarolina.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of North Carolina Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in NCSO for personal use.date: 28 September 2021

Afterword

Afterword

Avian Colonial Afterlives

Chapter:
(p.104) Afterword
Source:
Red Coats and Wild Birds
Author(s):

Kirsten A. Greer

Publisher:
University of North Carolina Press
DOI:10.5149/northcarolina/9781469649832.003.0008

While the subject of birds might seem benign in comparison with the more overt acts of colonial violence of slavery and famine, this afterword reflects on the importance of a self-awareness and sensitivity of one’s position in the world as a result of the institutions, practices, and identities that emerged from the British Empire is still needed in order to deconstruct and challenge the “colonial amnesia” of cultures of nature in particular places, such as in Malta. The annual presence of British “moral” birdwatchers as a means to combat the “savage” Maltese pothunter will not resolve the migratory bird hunting issue in Malta—it only repeats a stereotype and enlivens old tensions within a British colonial culture of nature that marginalized lower-class Maltese in the nineteenth century. As this book demonstrates, the stereotype of the colonial Maltese pothunter continues to circulate in Europe. A critical historical geography of empire can help to trace some of the genealogies of colonial cultures of nature in particular places such as the Mediterranean, and to contextualize tensions among different actants in conservation efforts dedicated to migratory birds.

Keywords:   colonial afterlives, colonial amnesia, politics of nature, legacies of empire

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