"Unruly Raccoons and Troubled Educators: Nature/Culture Divides in a Childcare Centre"

Pacini-Ketchabaw, Veronica, and Fikile Nxumalo | from Multimedia Library Collection:

Pacini-Ketchabaw, Veronica, and Fikile Nxumalo. “Unruly Raccoons and Troubled Educators: Nature/Culture Divides in a Childcare Centre.” Environmental Humanities 7, no. 1 (2016): 151-68. doi:10.1215/22011919-3616380.

Current times of anthropogenically damaged landscapes call us to re-think human and nonhuman relations and consider multiple possibilities for alternative and more sustainable futures. As many environmental and Indigenous humanities scholars have noted, central to this re-thinking is unsettling the colonial nature/culture divide in Western epistemology. In this article, through a series of situated, small, everyday stories from childcare centres, we relate raccoon-child-educator encounters in order to consider how raccoons’ repeated boundary-crossing and their apprehension as unruly subjects might reveal the impossibility of the nature/culture divide. We tell these stories, not to offer a final fixed solution to the asymmetrical, awkward and frictional entanglements of humans’ and raccoons’ lives, but as a responsive telling that may bring forth new possibilities for responsible, affective and ethical co-habitations. (Text from authors’ abstract)

© Veronica Pacini-Ketchabaw and Fikile Nxumalo 2016. Environmental Humanities is available online only and is published under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0).