1st Edition

Winged Worlds Common Spaces of Avian-Human Lives

Edited By Olga Petri, Michael Guida Copyright 2023
    228 Pages 26 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    228 Pages 26 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This edited collection explores our often-surprising modes of co-inhabiting the cultural and aerial worlds of birds. It focuses on our encounters with non-captive birds and the cultural geographies of feathered flight.

    This book offers a timely contribution to the more-than-human geographies of flight, space and territory. The chapters support an ethics of attention as a new basis for the conservation and cultivation of aerial habitats. Contributions adopt an interdisciplinary approach to the patterns of intrusion and escape that shape our encounters with birds and unsettle our traditionally terrestrial concepts of space. Each chapter focuses on a different aspect of our shared lives with birds, ranging from scientific observation to the social media-enabled spectacle of co-habitation and spatial competition.

    Written in a thought-provoking style, this book seeks to address a dearth of critical perspectives on the cultural geographies of flight and its implications for the ways in which we understand common spaces around and above us in the context of any effort at conservation.

    Learning to live in winged worlds: introduction

    Olga Petri

    Part I Out of Sight, Out of Mind, and Out of Place

    1. Displaying displacement: exhibiting extinct birds in natural history museums

    Dolly Jørgensen

    2. Pigeons and other strangers in post-war Britain

    Philip Howell

    3. Migration at the limit: More-than-human creativity and catastrophe

    Andrew J. Whitehouse

    4. Humans and birds on British farms, 1950–2000

    Paul Merchant

    Part II Making Sense of Shared Space

    5. Airborne: experience and atmospheric movements in falconry practice

    Sara Asu Schroer

    6. Sonic habitats: aerial nomadism and the sound of birds

    Patricia Jäggi

    7. The changing geographies of human-starling relations in the shared spaces of the Anthropocene

    Andy Morris

    8. The public lives of pigeon passengers: how pigeons and humans share space on a train

    Shawn Bodden

    Part III Flights of Fancy

    9. Birds as winged words: a reading of Aristophanes, The Birds

    Jeremy Mynott

    10. Birds and Christian imagery

    Roger S. Wotton

    11. Early modern Toucans in space and imagination

    Alex Lawrence

    12. Peregrine flights: the emergence of digital winged geographies

    William M. Adams, Adam Searle, and Jonathon Turnbull


    Olga Petri is a Leverhulme Trust Early Career Researcher in the Geography Department of Cambridge University. Her main interest is in the cultural and historical geographies, social communities and more-than-human assemblages in urban spaces shaped by the modern bureaucratic state. She is the author of Places of Tenderness and Heat: The Queer Milieu of Fin-de-Siecle St. Petersburg (2022).

    Michael Guida is a Research Associate in Media & Cultural Studies at the University of Sussex. He is a writer and a historian of nature in modern British urban culture, with a particular interest in human-avian relations. His first book is called Listening to British Nature: Wartime, Radio & Modern Life, 1914-1945 (2022).