Loss and Wonder at the Worlds End.

AuthorZentella, Yoly

Ogden, Laura A. Loss and Wonder at the Worlds End. Durham and London: Duke University Press, 2021.

Unknown regions fascinate and encourage daring, often dangerous expeditions, compelling the creation of maps, journals, and books. Loss and Wonder at the World's End focuses on an adjacent area of Antarctica, the Fuegian Archipelago, Tierra del Fuego, situated at South America's southernmost tip. This territory, shared by Chile and Argentina, is known for dramatic landscapes: snowcapped mountains, tundra, and glaciers. The archipelago is sometimes referred to as "the end of the world" because geographically, it is the gateway to Antarctica.

Loss and Wonder at the World's End is also a story of the Selknam--the Fuegian indigenous people--the flora and fauna of the area, and sites embedded with memories of the past, meanings within present time, and glimpses into the future. And it is a book about the human experiences of loss and wonder; loss in the context of specific time and place as understood by the local culture, and wonder, as a recognition and belief in unfamiliar landscapes and ways of life based on current knowledge. This skillfully written, intriguing book has appeal to both researchers, scholars, and graduate students in the discipline of anthropology and those interested in the Fuegian world at the edge of the Antarctic.

Laura A. Ogden, associate professor of anthropology at Dartmouth College, is also author of Swamplife: People, Gators, and Mangroves Entangled in the Everglades and co-editor of The Coastal Everglades: The Dynamics of Social-Ecological Transformation in the South Florida Landscape. Her expert curiosity in the multilevel interrelationships of nature, including humans, and the unfolding of these stories within a context of imperialism, colonialism, and the environmental impact of these is evident in her present ethnographic book, which sprang from "an interest in learning about the impacts of environmental change on life in the Fuegian Archipelago" (11). Her inquiry brought a surprise: Imperialist colonization was largely absent from the Fuegian environment despite the experience of colonization throughout the Americas. Emerging from this clarity is the conceptualization of environmental change as "imperialisms shadow, a darkness cast upon the earth in the wake of other losses" (11). This shadow, hovering over the archipelago, is a reminder of imperialisms destruction of the delicate weave created by nature...

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