Publication Details

Castree, N. (2012). The return of nature?. Cultural Geographies, 19 (4), 547-552.


Published under the auspices of the journal Theory, Culture & Society, Inhuman Nature is one of the most interesting monographs I have encountered in many years. The questions it raises and the answers it provides are not only relevant to all of human geography's sub-fields (including cultural geography) but to physical geography's component branches as well. This said, Nigel Clark's academic training lies outside geography, and his book's back-cover endorsements come from two sociologists (Myra Hird and Adrian Franklin). But it's not too hard to make direct connections between his plenary analysis of Anglophone social science, the humanities and the Earth sciences, and the way in which Anglophone geographers think about, interrogate and de/politicize 'nature'. Clark's book could, as Franklin justifiably opines, '[be] one of the most important [monographs] ... you're ever likely to read'. I will summarize the claims and contentions of Inhuman Nature before identifying its principal implications for research, teaching and 'outreach' activities in contemporary geography. For those willing to be persuaded, these implications are very significant analytically, normatively and practically. However, that willingness presumes readers will find clever ways of tackling - or downplaying - some very significant problems with Nigel Clark's arguments (as I'll explain towards the end).



Link to publisher version (DOI)