George R. Trumbull IV

A Colonial Atlas of Extinction

The famed ursine terror of the Roman Empire, the world's largest lion, and an obscure antelope nonetheless well-known to the ancient Egyptians once haunted the mountains and plains of the Maghrib. Exterminated by big-game hunters' deadly fascination, by the imperial reordering of the Mediterranean, and even by zoological curiosity, these three vanished species nevertheless continue to haunt the imagination. Extinctions are rarely as clear-cut as the paradigmatic example of the dodo suggests, and the slow fading from view of these majestic beasts provides a cautionary tale of rapaciousness and complacency.

Selected Works

Nonfiction; work in progress
The extinction of the Atlas Bear, Barbary Lion, and Bubal Hartebeest may have deprived North Africa of its charismatic megafauna, but their disappearance also tells a story of changes in how humans see their natural world.
“If you knew the secrets of the desert, you would think like me; but you are ignorant of them, and ignorance is the mother of evil.”--Emir `Abd al-Qadir
A fascinating account of French conceptions of Islam in France's largest and most important colony

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