Self-Devouring Growth: A Planetary Parable as Told from Southern Africa

Julie Livingston (Author)

Product Details

Duke University Press
Publish Date
September 20, 2019
5.2 X 0.5 X 8.9 inches | 0.55 pounds
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About the Author

Julie Livingston, a 2013 recipient of a MacArthur "Genius Grant," is Professor of Social and Cultural Analysis and History at New York University and author of Improvising Medicine: An African Oncology Ward in an Emerging Cancer Epidemic, also published by Duke University Press, and Debility and the Moral Imagination in Botswana.


"Livingston has written a beautiful book, which speaks from Tswana cosmology towards the complexities of global problems, and that points towards forms of activism that we can all take forward."--Shannon Morreira"Africa Is a Country" (10/23/2019)
"Highly engaging, deeply thoughtful, and beautifully written, Self-Devouring Growth helps us to understand the environmental dangers the planet faces not as something to be avoided or prevented, but as something to expect and to live through. Julie Livingston's thinking about environmental and other futures is a breath of fresh air and cuts across stale debates around economic development and environmental sustainability in a very original way."--James Ferguson, author of "Give a Man a Fish: Reflections on the New Politics of Distribution "
"Julie Livingston's concept of 'self-devouring growth' will become an essential tool across many forms of scholarship--and for concerned earth dwellers across the planet. As Livingston puts it, "GROW! is a mantra so powerful that it obscures the destruction it portends." Self-Devouring Growth tells of the failure of Botswana's public water system, strained by failing rains and pumped dry by mining and commercial beef rearing for export. Regarded as a success of development, Botswana is the ideal site for a parable of the Anthropocene."--Anna Lowenhaupt Tsing, coeditor of "Feral Atlas: The More-than-Human Anthropocene "
"An imaginative parable about human society and life on Earth. . . . The author notes that everyone cries foul when poorer countries achieve a standard of living enjoyed elsewhere, yet the global inequality reflected in this complaint suggests the need for collective creative thinking about new forms of growth for life on Earth to survive. Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through faculty; general readers."
-- (02/01/2020)