In The Nature of Spectacle, Jim Igoe embarks on multifaceted explorations of how we imagine nature and how nature shapes our imaginations. The book traces spectacular productions of imagined nature across time and space-from African nature tourism to transnational policy events to green consumer appeals in which the push of a virtual button appears to initiate a chain of events resulting in the protection of polar bears in the Arctic or jaguars in the Amazon rainforest. These explorations illuminate the often surprising intersections of consumerism, entertainment, and environmental policy. They show how these intersections figure in a strengthening and problematic policy consensus in which economic growth and ecosystem health are cast as mutually necessitating conditions. They also take seriously the potential of these intersections and how they may facilitate other alignment and imaginings that may become the basis of alternatives to our current socioecological predicaments.
Jim Igoe is an associate professor in the Anthropology Department at the University of Virginia. His work, broadly construed, concerns the history of nature in expanding world systems. Specifically, he has addressed conflicts between national parks and indigenous communities in East Africa and North America, the emergence of neoliberal conservation at the turn of the millennium, and the role of mass-produced images in mediating people's perceptions of, and relationships to, the environment. Igoe is the co-author of Nature Unbound: Capitalism and the Future of Protected Areas and Conservation and Globalization: A Study of National Parks and Indigenous Communities from East Africa to South Dakota.