Bathsheba Demuth on the Changing Landscapes of the Arctic Circle
This Week from the Emergence Magazine Podcast
Emergence Magazine is an online publication with annual print edition exploring the threads connecting ecology, culture, and spirituality. As we experience the desecration of our lands and waters, the extinguishing of species, and a loss of sacred connection to the Earth, we look to emerging stories. Our podcast features exclusive interviews, narrated essays, stories and more.
Bathsheba Demuth is an environmental historian, specializing in the lands and seas of the Russian and North American Arctic. In this essay, she observes riverbanks collapsing from the melting permafrost while on a moose hunt north of the Arctic Circle—evidence of the fraught story of the Anthropocene that has marked this changing landscape. As she and a friend from the Gwitchin community of Old Crow travel down the Ch’izhìn Nji, two contrasting narratives unfold along the riverbanks: one of conquest, another of quiet knowing and restraint.
Bathsheba Demuth is an environmental historian at Brown University, specializing in the United States and Russia, and in the history of energy and past climates. She has lived in and studied Arctic communities across Eurasia and North America.