Date of Graduation
Eberly College of Arts and Sciences
Geology and Geography
Using a political ecology framework, I explore the relationship between international trophy hunting and South Africa’s private wildlife ranching industry. I interrogate the intersection of colonialism, capitalism, and conservation, which at its nexus are the discourses, policies, and logics that greenwash the production of nature. The proceeding chapters highlight a number of specific themes that problematize the neoliberalization of nature, including (i) the contradictions of imposing a market value to nonhumans; (ii) the operationalization of socioeconomic and environmental frameworks to justify trophy hunting and the breeding of nonhumans for profit; (iii) the use of African landscape and wildlife imagery to market trophy hunting; and (iv) how industry advocates advance a politics of scale, fear, and difference to strengthen cultural identities and cultivate a sense of belonging. Data reveal that private wildlife ranching paradoxically privileges some species over others, which means that some nonhuman lives are more intensely manipulated and violently exploited than others. Consequently, this dissertation calls for greater consideration of nonhuman sentience and complexity in decisions regarding wildlife conservation rather than an utilitarian ethos guided by colonial epistemologies and neoliberal logics that abstract nonhuman lives into parts for capitalist accumulation.
Knieter, Dave E., "Bullets, Breeding, and Biodiversity: An analysis of trophy hunting in South Africa's green wildlife economy" (2020). Graduate Theses, Dissertations, and Problem Reports. 7543.