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Sounding the limits of life : essays in the anthropology of biology and beyond

Author: Stefan Helmreich; Sophia Roosth; Michele Ilana Friedner
Publisher: Princeton, New Jersey : Princeton University Press, [2016]
Series: Princeton studies in culture and technology.
Edition/Format:   eBook : Document : EnglishView all editions and formats
Summary:
What is life? What is water? What is sound? In Sounding the Limits of Life, anthropologist Stefan Helmreich investigates how contemporary scientists--biologists, oceanographers, and audio engineers--are redefining these crucial concepts. Life, water, and sound are phenomena at once empirical and abstract, material and formal, scientific and social. In the age of synthetic biology, rising sea levels, and new  Read more...
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Material Type: Document, Internet resource
Document Type: Internet Resource, Computer File
All Authors / Contributors: Stefan Helmreich; Sophia Roosth; Michele Ilana Friedner
ISBN: 9780691164809 0691164800 9780691164816 0691164819 9781400873869 140087386X
OCLC Number: 928749913
Language Note: In English.
Description: 1 online resource (xxii, 300 pages) : illustrations.
Contents: List of illustrations --
Sounding life, water, sound --
Chapter 1. What was life? : answers from three limit biologies --
Chapter 2. Life forms : a keyword entry / with Sophia Roosth --
Chapter 3. An archaeology of artifical life, underwater --
Chapter 4. Cetology now : formatting the twenty-first-century whale --
Chapter 5. How like a reef : figuring coral, 1839-2010 --
Chapter 6. Homo microbis : species, race, sex and the human microbiome --
Chapter 7. The signature of life : designing the astrobiological imagination --
Chapter 8. Nature/culture/seawater : theory machines, anthropology, oceanization --
Chapter 9. Time and the tsunami : Indian Ocean, 2004 --
Chapter 10. From Spaceship Earth to Google Ocean : planetary icons, indexes, and infrastructures --
Chapter 11. Underwater music : tuning composition to the sounds of science --
Chapter 12. Seashell sound --
Chapter 13. Sound studies meets deaf studies / with Michele Friedner --
Chapter 14. Chimeric sensing --
Life, water, sound resounding.
Series Title: Princeton studies in culture and technology.
Responsibility: Stefan Helmreich ; with contributions from Sophia Roosth and Michele Friedner.
More information:

Abstract:

What is life? What is water? What is sound? In Sounding the Limits of Life, anthropologist Stefan Helmreich investigates how contemporary scientists--biologists, oceanographers, and audio engineers--are redefining these crucial concepts. Life, water, and sound are phenomena at once empirical and abstract, material and formal, scientific and social. In the age of synthetic biology, rising sea levels, and new technologies of listening, these phenomena stretch toward their conceptual snapping points, breaching the boundaries between nature and culture. Through examinations of the computational life sciences, marine biology, astrobiology, acoustics, and more, Helmreich follows scientists to the limits of these categories. Along the way, he offers critical accounts of such other-than-human entities as digital life forms, microbes, coral reefs, whales, seawater, extraterrestrials, tsunamis, seashells, and bionic cochlea. He develops a new notion of "sounding"--As investigating, fathoming, listening--to describe the form of inquiry appropriate for tracking meanings and practices of the biological, aquatic, and sonic in a time of global change and climate crisis. Sounding the Limits of Life shows that life, water, and sound no longer mean what they once did, and that what count as their essential natures are under dynamic revision.

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"This collection is extremely impressive. The notes and bibliography read like a veritable state-of-the-art of the field; the author has read and imbibed everything and everyone and is in firm Read more...

 
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